when things don’t work

Last year a student asked me to teach an independent study on social media ethics. Social media raises lots of interesting questions to talk about, but one of the ones we spent some time on was the effects of carefully curated online presence that makes your life look considerably more perfect than it is and that then makes people feel like everyone else has a better life than they do. This, likely, is one of the factors that makes people who spend a lot of time online more likely to be unhappy and depressed.

But what should be done about it? We don’t generally think it’s a virtue to complain constantly about all the woes of your life. We like some measure of stoicism, rather than always spreading the misery around. With people that you know reasonably well in real life, this isn’t a problem. They can stoically bear their burdens and you’ll learn about those burdens in other ways. Online we have less access to those other ways. And then we run into the problems.

I’m not sure what the answers are either, but, for better or worse, here’s a post to make farming look less happy and romantic. What customers see on a farmers’ market table are the successes. All the crops that failed … well,  they’re not there.

Dying brassica

Such as many of my brassicas this year. For some reason, shortly after transplanting over half of my cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower either died or remained small and stunted (as it the picture here of a plant that should be much brighter green and five times the size). The most frustrating aspect of this is that I still am not sure what the problem is and so don’t know what I can do to prevent this from happening again.

And then there’s the weather. We had an unusually early spring many plants in the southeast are two to three weeks ahead of schedule but now record-breaking cold later in the season. This coming night promises to kill a lot of things. The only real question at this point is how many things will die. That depends on how many plants can be protected and on precisely how cold it gets. For example, most of my potatoes are nearly a foot tall by now and I plan to cover them. But if the temperatures reach the low end of what is forecasted, the cover won’t be enough and they’ll die back anyway.

So … isn’t farming lovely? — Sydney

This week’s items

Items we plan to have at the market this week (an asterisk indicates unusually limited quantities):

  • Arugula
  • Dry beans and cowpeas (assorted varieties, including Tiger’s Eye beans, Peregion beans, Red Kidney beans, Pinto beans, and Black Crowder peas)
  • Pecan Cushaw Granola
  • Herb plants
  • Parsnips
  • Pea shoots
  • French Breakfast radishes
  • Spinach*
  • Squash (Butternut*, Kabocha, Seminole)
  • Sweet potatoes (Orleans and Murasaki)

1 comment on “when things don’t workAdd yours →

  1. A clever analogy! I am personally having a hard time distancing myself from social media, although I know how it affects me negatively. John just bought a “Light Phone” which has no SM capability. Perhaps I should just get more involved in the garden to naturally follow “social-media distancing”, which in this time is probably more important than most guidelines for me personally.
    We cannot wait to support your family farm of beautiful and unique produce this season! John and I really appreciate you growing our favorite items. =)

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