Gardening: Growing in Success or Failure


Today was a gorgeous, warm, and not too windy fifty degree January day. Babe and the neighbors took full advantage and turned over the soil in the field for the makings of our garden. Our first Steed Ranch garden.

Now I’ve had plenty of gardens growing up and over the years in suburbia. I keep plants alive for years. I consider myself a green thumb.

But today I was met with some negativity. You can’t keep a garden out here. The deer will eat everything if you don’t use deer repellent. And the small critters will get the rest. You better build a fence! You want blueberry bushes too? The deer love those. I haven’t lived out here long, but I do know that none of my neighbors in the few miles around have a fenced-in garden. And some of my friends and neighbors have been out here for decades. So… now what?

I was full of angst and worry for a while, wondering what I needed to do to build my bullet-proof garden. But later tonight, my Spirit Animal reminded me – we will make this garden great, we will do it together, we will share it with the wildlife, and we will work hard to make it successful. Talk about a mood change!

It’s all about perspective out here. And I suppose it’s all about perspective everywhere. It hit hard when roaming Facebook this evening as I ran across Will Smith’s video about the 3 ways to fail:

fail early,

fail often,

and fail forward. Yes. Fail forward.

My garden will be fine this year. Me and my neighbors are going to work hard to make sure of that. And even if my garden is massacred by the wildlife out here this year, I will have learned many ways how NOT to keep them out of my crops.

Who will reap the benefits is certain – the Steeds will. I will teach my girls more about gardening, food, and preservation. I will teach my girls about hard work and perseverance. And when the critters eat the fruits of our labor, I will teach them about failure.

But you better believe when deer season rolls around in the fall, I will teach my girls about delayed gratification.

4 thoughts on “Gardening: Growing in Success or Failure

  1. Knock wood, but so far I’ve had no deer in my potager. It’s fenced, but only 4′ tall. I think what deters them is that they like to feel confident about where they will land. With my raised beds and metal arches, they aren’t sure about the terrain and landing. I also leave all my smaller metal trellises and tomato cages in the garden to add to the visual puzzle even in winter, knowing that once a deer does jump in and out successfully, the others will follow. I’ve heard that making the fence with greatly varied heights of posts or branches placed at 6″ apart will also work. I put 3′ of chicken wire on the fence to keep small animals out, although occasionally a raccoon or squirrel climbs over to raid the strawberries. It’s also buried 10″ deep to keep the diggers out. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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