You’ve done the dreaming part: you want to produce food for yourself and your family and/or friends. You’ve done the inspiration part: you have posts saved on Pinterest, and you follow relevant content on other social media platforms. You’ve done the inventory: you have shovels, trowels, and even some snazzy gloves.
But then you see someone starting their seeds in January! And you see a local gardener growing eight different kinds of greens! And your friend built raised beds with an irrigation system, and you can’t very well go to the local seed swap because who are you as a gardening amateur?!
Take a deep breath. The best thing you can do is just to start. Even gardeners who have been producing food for ten years STILL learn lessons every year. You will learn as you go. It is trial and error.
I had my backyard spot all picked out. I was ready to go. I didn’t really know much, but I wanted to try. I tried a few things, most of which did not work, and I was completely discouraged. For two years I focused primarily on building up our soil health, which is not a bad thing, but something was still holding me back from growing food.
And then I just let go of the expectation that I needed to garden perfectly right off the bat, and I jumped in. It is unrealistic to expect perfection and expertise in a new experience. We learn as we go, as we gain knowledge and experience.
I surprised myself. I was more successful than I expected! And also, there were many lessons that I will write out in my garden journal and do better next season. Stay tuned for my biggest lessons!
So, my tip to you is: let go of the expectation, and just start. Ask questions, attend workshops or seed-swaps, and know that all gardeners started at the same point, and most just want to share what they know! No judgment. No expectation. Just a common goal and love for growing and eating food.
How did you get on this year? My best grower this year: KALE! What was yours?