Homeshuling

Homeshuling


Thinning

posted by Homeshuling

every garden needs a little pink

Right after Passover we planted sugar snap pea and lettuce seeds in the chilly soil of the backyard. About seven weeks later (we know, because we’ve been counting!) we have what must look to the (many, many) ants like a tropical rainforest – a plot of earth thick with bright green and red-tinged leaves and long, curly vines grasping on to the trellises and one other for dear life. I look back at my seed packets and am reminded that it’s time to thin. I need to pull some of these beautiful little plants to make space for some of the other beautiful little plants.
Staring at my garden deliberating – no, make that, agonizing – over the decision of who stays and who goes, I realize that I don’t have the emotional fortitude for thinning. My girls and I have watched this garden almost daily, looking for those nearly imperceptible signs that something had happened. We celebrated each and every inch, rejoiced with every new leaf. How can we kill half of them? And yet, if we don’t, none of these plants will thrive.
I knew there was a metaphor in here somewhere, but it took my friend Sarah’s wonderful blog post about giving kids space to grow to crystallize the inherent and terribly important lesson to be learned. Hovering, and all the awe that comes with new life, may have its place in our gardens and our nurseries (the baby kind) and our homes, especially the first time around. But in the end, all living things need space to grow. I’d say more, but really, you should just read what she wrote. And me, I’m going to go kill some lettuce and peas.



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Mary

posted May 17, 2010 at 8:20 am


Thanks for the link, Amy. Sarah offers much wisdom. As the parent of two adults in their mid-to-late 20′s, I agree that the focus needs to be on helping the kids become independent adults. Sometimes, due to circumstances well beyond our control, there’s need for continued support occasionally into adulthood. But always, the focus can be on “what will help my kid become independent” instead of “what will make me feel better about the situation” or “how can I *help*?”
Good luck with your peas and lettuce!



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Tzipporah

posted May 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm


Personally, I don’t thin. I let all the snap peas grow like crazy and give them lots of organic compost and water, since those aren’t finite resources around here.
And then we eat lots and lots of snap peas.
But I will have to think them when we get to onions and carrots. Steve Solomon puts it like this: we have a contract with these plants. We will take very, very good care of them, and keep other plants from competing with them, and they will produce for us.
I’m still working on how to deal with parenting situations where the resources (me) are limited, but the demands are infinite.



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