Lessons Sustainable Gardeners Soon Learn

We’ve had a terrible year for plums this year. A very late severe frost in spring meant we already had a bad fruit set, and wet, windy weather in the last few weeks set back some and meant that we lost others. Earlier blossoming apples also fared much less well than usual. It certainly has not been the best year for top fruits in my forest garden. (We did have a bumper year for red currants and raspberries, however.)

Gardeners soon learn, however, that these setbacks and challenges are par for the course. Fortunately, even though we have fewer top fruits than previous years, we still do have lots of apples and lots of blackberries are on their way.

I’ve just been out harvesting some cooking apples that I will process tomorrow. I’m planning to make a big batch of vegetable stew which is just what we need with all this unseasonal grey weather.

All sustainable gardeners learn sooner or later just how important it is not to put all their eggs in one basket. When you have diverse plantings, and your fingers in lots of pies, then setbacks or even disasters with a certain crop are less dispiriting and there are far more likely to be at least some successes to enjoy.

Another important lesson that you will soon learn as you garden in a sustainable way is that you can’t control everything. You learn to prepare for the worst that can be thrown at you in your area, but also to take a more light-hearted approach and not to sweat the small stuff as much.

Finally, sustainable gardeners soon learn that organic gardening does bring its challenges. But with the right attitude, it is overwhelmingly a positive experience – even when not everything goes to plan.

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