Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

What Kind of Plan is That

Mary ConleyDear friends,

I’m 72 and my husband, Larry, will also be 72 next month. A few years ago, I learned that when we get older, men start to lose their ability to hear higher tones, women’s voices, and women lose the ability to hear lower tones, men’s voices. That was the first time I remember saying, “What ... kind ... of ... a … plan ... is that?” It seemed to me that we had spent years melding into compatibility, somewhat, and now we had this new problem. Well, just take me out and shoot me. That, dear friends, has become another of my little expressions.

Now, I find I’m often saying, “What kind of plan is that?” I say it often, because it often fits! Have you noticed such things? You don’t need to go into serious world problems, but just everyday situations around you. Example: Our little farm is in a drought area. We were more than thankful last week when 2.7 inches of rain gently fell within a 36-hour period. However, just a little farther away, they got 7 inches and it washed away a small bridge, etc. What kind of plan is that? I would have given them 1 inch a week for seven weeks or saved a couple for July or August.


Notice our swing floating in the water in Sappa Creek along the edge of our property. It is normally a shallow spring-fed stream, but it rose drastically to nearly 10 feet from all the rain nearby.

Then there is the garden. You buy the seeds, do the work, and the bugs come and eat it. What kind of plan is that?

You plant fruit trees, and just when they blossom, you get a heavy frost or freeze that kills the fruit for the year. What kind of plan is that?

Need I go on? I asked Larry if he could remember more of my examples. He said that he had a good one right on the fringe of recall, but he couldn’t quite bring it up. I said, “What kind of plan is that?”

All of the above to tell you that this past weekend, I was surveying my kitchen garden at the farm, and noticing all the tiny plants popping out of the ground. Hope! As I was thinning out the kale and chard, I realized I felt a different type of happiness and peace. I’m sure all you gardeners understand what I’m trying to express. It got me to thinking about how our lives have changed since buying the farm and planting everything we could think of and had time for, and how we are now reaping the rewards.

I realized that all the wonderful organic food starts in the early spring with the lettuces, mint and asparagus. Now it is strawberry and gooseberry time. Then as the summer goes by, we will be canning green beans, freezing sweet corn, and digging potatoes. Hopefully there will be carrots, zucchini, cantaloupe and cucumbers. We should have pears and peaches, and cherries are setting on for the first time. In the fall, there will be apples, acorn and butternut squash, onions and pumpkins. I’m sure I left out other foods, but my point is that it doesn’t all happen at once. Not only do we get to enjoy one fresh food after another, but it gives us time to can or freeze each crop instead of everything needing attention at the same time. Now that, dear friends, is a plan!

6/2/2014 9:07:44 AM

Mary, I'm sure many of my friends are thinking that same phrase when I'm telling about my bizarre plans for the gardens that I am building. They have come to just except that I don't do normal things. As they spy into the back yard and read my blog posts, I expect they are shaking their heads back and forth in utter lack of understanding of the weirdness going in my backyard. ***** I see the EPA has visited Terra Nova Gardens again. I saw evidence that they had taken some core samples about a month ago and now they came back and took core samples every square foot in the 90 by 60 foot area of the garden. My theory is that the were hoping to snag enough evidence to justify the need to replace the top soil with just a few samples but apparently that didn't work so now they did a full spread core sample in hopes to find the lead in the soil that they are looking for. I still have high hopes that they will not have to replace the soil. It'll be a real drag if they do. ***** We had a horrific wind storm blow through last night and power was off for about three hours. It rattled a few small sticks out of the sycamore tree in the front yard but other than that all is well. It flatten the potato plants but they will survive and knocked down the lettuce. All the caged plants like tomato and bell peppers made it through without damage. It's good that I didn't have the cucumbers out yet. All the potted plants waiting to be planted were in the back of my truck safely in the garage. Final rain gauge check was 1.6 inches here. It's a good start for June's rain average. ***** Have a great plan for today.