Seeds aren’t widgets

In our excessively industrialized culture all things are considered widgets.  Cogs that are interchangeably, endlessly, instantly available upon demand.  Few people can differentiate between such prefab instant satisfaction and those things that take more time and are worth the wait.

There are lots of things that do take time and patience but I have the most experience with seeds.  Here is how it works:  when a supply of seeds is gone there is no way to immediately replace it.  It takes a growing season.  You plant the seed you have, grow the crop, harvest and process the seed.  Then you have more seed to plant the next year.  The return on investment is sizeable but it is not instantaneous.  There are many segments of our society that could take a valuable lesson from this style of investment.  Delayed gratification an old idea whose time has come again.

I stay amazed at how many folks don’t comprehend these simple facts.   I am not so surprised at the Sunday gardeners who don’t live with the rhythm of the land and probably have not thought much about where their seeds come from.  But I am amazed at the full-time farmers who don’t seem to get it.  Is it because they think in this global economy we should be able to just fly in seed from some far-flung region where it is always harvest time? What they don’t seem to comprehend is that when the supply of seeds or seed potatoes or fruit trees is exhausted for that growing season that’s it?  The fat lady has sung.  Think of yourself as a Red Sox fan and  “Wait til next year”.

Or on another level you can use it as inspiration.  An heirloom seed that is in short supply could be your jumping off point to seed saving or even seed production.   Lots of small seed companies have started this way.  Got extra tomato seeds?  Share them with your family, friends and neighbors.  And be proud of your accomplishment for these are widgets that not everyone can produce.

2 responses to this post.

  1. I think they need to be renamed – Fidgets (note the capital F). seems to be more appropiate given the often transitory nature of recent widgety-wonders.


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