Working the Plan

I spent a lot of time as a kid with my maternal grandmother. At almost 90 years old now, she was a newlywed at the height of The Great Depression. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a way of being, not a slogan, for her – saving scraps of fabric and cereal box liner bags, washing and reusing disposable dishes and plastic cutlery. Preparing for the “what-ifs” in life. Over-preparing, usually.

There are times when I am acutely aware of how much this rubbed off on me. Like last night, for example. I finally got to start some seeds. My experiment this year is to see if I can run a hypothetical CSA*. I’m going to plant as if I have a 2-member CSA, plus my own family to feed and freezer to stock. I may even find 2 people willing to be guinea pigs and buy my 2 weekly boxes.

So, plan in hand, I started in with the seeds. I had calculated how many plants I wanted to end up with in the garden, and therefore how many seeds to start. In most cases fewer seeds to start than what came in the seed packet. It about killed me not to plant the extra seeds. There’s no such thing as over-prepared. If The Great Depression II hits this summer, I’ll be sorry.

Just work the plan, I kept telling myself.

I seeded twice as many seeds as I want to transplant out, 2 per cell. That means after they germinate I’ll have to snip off one out of each cell (unless one fails to germinate). This will also about kill me. They’ve only just gotten a start at life and here I come, all Grim Reaper with my scissors, and just like that it’s over for them. These are the beginnings of food we’re talking about here. I’ll be really really sorry when The Great Depression II hits.

Just work the plan.

I did it. I stuck to my plan. I resisted the urge to overdo. No 300 tomato transplants for me this year.

Well, I started 12 cabbage instead of 11 because I don’t like odd numbers. But close enough.

After all, how can I tell what works if I don’t at least start with the plan? I work the plan this year. Analyze what went right, what went wrong, and what adjustments I had to make on-the-fly. Adjust the plan next year and work it again. Penny should be proud. If I learn nothing else in her class, at least I’ve learned to make a plan and work it.

*CSA = Community Supported Agriculture

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4 Responses to Working the Plan

  1. traci says:

    Way to resist the urge! :)I think that desire for more is just such a survival thing…I’m sure the reason I hoard fabric and patterned paper (and ribbon and hair ties and soy milk and on and on) goes SO much deeper…to that cave woman that couldn’t count on the grocery store to always have more. So my theory is that greed and hoarding and over-spending are all totally natural, if totally unfulfilling. Anyway…show us pictures as they grow! I’d love to see their progress!

  2. Mary says:

    I do the same thing…plant 40 different kinds of tomatoes, when really, we don’t eat *that* many. 🙂 And there’s so many seeds in the packets!!! Why shouldn’t we plant them all!!!! 🙂 But I’m attempting to do the same thing you’re doing. Let’s see if it works. 🙂

  3. shannon says:

    We are working the same plan mama – it’ll be cool to check in with each other throughout the season! I’m planting roughly enough for ten CSA shares, then divvy them up to make sure they’re big enough, record what went into a share each week, then unpack and sell the produce at the farmstand. Already have a few wrinkles – such as a big UNPLOWED! pasture – but I’m going to put the onions and cold weather crops in the area that is clear, and intensify efforts to hire a tractor before the second week of April 🙂 What sort of container are you using as a share? I was thinking a half bushel or bushel basket….

  4. minklass26 says:

    Last year I had some tomato plants that I planted too close together in the garden. I wanted to replant them in, and my wonderful husband suggested a trellis to support the vines. We spent about $200 on materials for the trellis and then an entire day building it, digging posts, hammering posts in, and erecting it. I replanted the tomatos and they were doing great. Then it got cold and started to rain, and they all died, one by one. I was so depressed. I ended up with two or three miniature red wrinkled balloons instead of beautiful juicy tomatos and my husband teases me like crazy about my expensive crop. This year I’ve started them much earlier (like when your supposed to) and they are doing great! I planted about 40 sunflowers seeds in those little starter pods and the replanted them in a old drawer (I drilled drainage holes) that I have sitting in the sun. They went in the drawer almost a month ago, and they are about 6 inches tall now… I really enjoy looking at them every day and seeing all the minute changes. My husband says “Yes, honey.They are beautiful…but what are we going to do with 40 sunflowers?”

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