- Life and Times of carolkmail

Lessons Courtesy of Balcony Farm

Once in a while, ok, more often than I’d openly admit, I’m always looking for lessons in what I do. Partly because I do too many things at the same time. In other part, because if I don’t look for lessons in what I do, most likely I won’t do much. Remember the balcony garden I started the other day? I am happy to announce that it is thriving. Ha! Take that you lot who thought it was going to be a source of firewood for the neighbourhood!

So anyway, it has not been an easy plant-me journey. Truth be told, I have yanked some plants off because they did not grow as expected. I have consistently talked to others and others almost made me weep. Seen a grown woman almost weep? Cringe factor I tell ya. What lessons could a mere balcony garden have especially for the hard-headed individual like me have? You wonder. So I tell.

Think of A Project And Start

I probably I’m a serial project starter. Fine I shall admit guilt. But let me ask you, if you never start on projects, how will you know which one will work and which one will fail? I once told a friend the only thing I probably won’t take up is ‘Hitman For Hire’. Anything else is possible in my head. You think I am joking? Look at my latest project. Yes, this one you will love. Story of how it became shall be told on here.

Patience to Let Things Grow

Really, could you keep the laughter to yourself? I can hear you giggle! Of course I can be patient! Fine, not so patient. It is not one of my strong points. I have however learnt how to deal with it, instead of denying or pretending that I am a patient man. I am not. But since I still have other things I’m doing, then the watching and waiting becomes bearable. I mean come on… Some of those plants take 45 days to germinate! Can you picture that? Watering a blob of soil for 44 (give or take a few days) without seeing anything growing? At some point you look around to see whether anyone is watching and wondering why a grown woman is watering soil in a can!

Strength to Admit When Things Are Not Working

Gimme a second here *breaks into silent sobs*. Let me tell you. If you ever see a farmer and their shamba thriving, give a bow and let them have your seat in public transport. I have had to yank plants away because they were not growing. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but it had to be done. It was what gave me room to plant others that are now thriving. I still mourn that loss but when I look at what I planted later, I am consoled that it was not an ‘in vain yank’.

Blind Faith is Also Good

See that blooming fern plant on your right? With all it’s green singing happily in the wind? That fern had completely withered. So much so that it was almost discarded. The reason why I did not discard it was because I had already discarded one set of plants and I couldn’t bring myself to just discard yet another. That fern I have talked to. Begged to tell me what it wants. Watered it even when it seemed hopeless even! Then one morning as I was watering it, I saw an ever so tiny shoot at the bottom, hidden by the withered leaves but it was all green! The squealing and clapping that I did on that day! I’m still explaining to the neighbours that I am sane. And ignoring those judging looks from them. Yes dear readers, blind faith, hanging on a little longer, luck even. They all play a great role in project progress.

So you see? Lessons everywhere. O, see those 2 Blue Band tubs? Those are junior’s. He thinks what I’m doing is uber cool so he decided to plant something. I am however spending a few minutes every morning explaining why ‘My Plants are Not There Yet’. And yes, the idea is to turn the balcony into one happy green area with a sitting spot on the side.

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8 responses

  1. Great and important lessons right there.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    • carolkmail

      I know, right? Thanks :)

      April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

  2. I must admit that I had my initial doubts when you started. You are definitely gifted with green fingers. Balcony farm is becoming a reality and you are doing something good for the environment. Patience is the key

    April 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    • carolkmail

      O ye of little faith you doubting Thomas! :D Thanks. I’ll keep on pushing and practising patience.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

  3. albohkim

    Am impressed Miss Mail lady …….but I saw the switching of plant species coming…hahaha.
    Admitting when things are not working…..that’s the hardest p
    art….totally relating :)

    April 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

    • carolkmail

      You are proud of me, yes? Course I’m fishing for a compliment! :P And I do not wanna talk about switching of plants! I’ve been sensing a story coming about things and working but I’m a patient man… :)

      April 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

  4. Good to see the balcony farm coming along. I still think there is a hidden motive behind it, maybe it is your first step towards becoming a herbalist? Oh, I have also learnt important lessons in the process, especially the part about patience and yanking out what is not working!

    Nice design, had not visited the blog since it was reloaded!

    April 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    • carolkmail

      I shall not discuss the hidden agenda or suspicious plantation hidden within the genuine plantation! Let’s just call them herbs. :D I think farming is an all-round lesson giver.

      Yes, it’s been ages since you were on here. See why I was blowing tantrums? Thanks :)

      April 20, 2012 at 7:56 am

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