Seedling Setbacks – or – The Time I Wanted to Cry


Before anything bad happened…

Thursday started off normal.  Well, it started off normal but a little bit windy.  My Assistants and I rode (aka I rode and they sat in their chariot behind me) to the Early Years Centre.  After a nice morning there we headed on towards Uptown Waterloo to meet up with Madame for some coffee and snacks.  At our date I complained to Madame about the wind and how frustrating it is—it seems like no matter what way we go on our bikes in this town, the wind is always blowing against us!  And when you’re pulling a trailer with two kids in it the wind has an even bigger effect!  She was sympathetic, at least to a certain extent, but it was also apparent that I was just complaining.

Back home shortly thereafter it was time for naptime for our Younger One so My Assistant and I went to the basement to hang diapers to dry.  We had just begun when we heard a crash upstairs.  I thought of two things—someone was breaking in to our unlocked home or the cold frame had fallen over.  I remember feeling disappointed when I got upstairs and the house was empty because I knew it had to be the latter.  Out the back door I saw the whole cold frame on its side.  There was sleet or hail coming down and the wind was blowing hard.  I told My Assistant to stay inside because the weather was awful and I didn’t want him to hear the things I was muttering to myself.  I slowly turned over the plant trays to find dozens of tiny seedlings piled together in the watery potting soil.  Plant by plant I put them back in the planters and slowly tried to organize things while feeling like I wanted to cry—which I didn’t, but I may have felt better if I had!


This is after I cleaned up the plants.

Instead of spending the late part of the afternoon making dinner I sat at the table trying to sort through the mess and repot the seedlings.  Many of them were ready for larger pots anyway but this is not the sort of circumstances in which one plans on doing repotting.  I called Madame who was very sympathetic this time and she was fairly understanding about my desire not to cook.  We had leftovers (one of the perks of cooking a lot!) and after dinner she helped me finish the cleanup job.

seedling setbackcleanup

Several days later I’m still using the cold frame—because it works quite well most of the time—but now I make sure it can’t fall over by putting a table partly in front of it, or by placing other items around it to keep it from falling.  Alas, to be into DIY maybe I have to DIE a little at times….  Okay, bad pun, but point is, there are setbacks with everything—breads don’t rise, cookies fall apart, new recipes fail—but somehow with plants it can be even more frustrating at times.  Maybe because the growing season is limited and you sometimes feel like you only have one shot at something.  And yet I wouldn’t want to live my life without growing my own vegetable garden.  All the toil and tears (when they do come) are just part of the product.  That final product of a crisp, sweet tomato eaten fresh, or a carrot that’s barely been washed and yet is bursting with sugary earthy goodness is why I do it.  And hopefully I learn from my mistakes, otherwise what value would they have?


Mrs. Duck thinks the table should help hold the cold frame in place… we’ll see!

Linking up at: Wildcrafting Wednesday