There’s a part of my garden where no matter what I do, I can’t grow tomatoes. I’ve added fish heads, egg shells, cow manure, rabbit manure, compost, hay, and probably more than $50 worth of various miracle cures to the soil there. I’ve spent way too much time on Dave’s Garden, and read every manual out there. Two seasonal crops a year, for four years, I try again.
And still. I get this.
Instead of what’s happening just three feet away, which is this.
All of this gardening drama is my fault, because I stubbornly stubbornly insist on applying best practices and outside consulting to a poorly understood problem.
In order to be successful, it’s critical to understand the problem, deeply, first. A solution that works at GE isn’t going to work at my medium-sized manufacturing company. An outside consultant can’t just sub in my company’s name for their last client, hand us the polished PPT deck, and expect their plan to work. And unless a company researches, partners with, listens to, and observes the market and their customers, faith in best practices or their own bright idea will likely result in failure. Strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Permaculture is about working WITH nature to develop easily sustained results, rather than fighting it. Sometimes working with nature means facing realities we just don’t want to face. Partnering fully, observing with open eyes, listening closely, and using inquiry tools like the 5 Why’s can help us to truly understand a situation, and develop realistic solutions, rather than spending time, money, and human resources on shallow strategies.
As for my garden – I know what I have to do. Be realistic that the soil, sunlight, and conditions aren’t optimal for tomatoes, in a couple of areas, and make adjustments, no matter how hard that is. Humbling down to reality is something I should have done several seasons ago. My ego needs aren’t going to put tomatoes on the table.