It took me forever. Not because it was hard, or needed special equipment that I didn’t have. It’s because I formed a mental block against the task. I think we all have those tasks, the ones where it feels like you’re not making any progress because you’re mired down in it. You know — in the weeds. And then you put it off because you feel horrible, and the task grows to monstrous proportions in your head, and then you put it off some more.
I girded my loins and tied them up, trimmed the extraneous stems, and pulled the particularly egregious weeds (I left the rest where they were until another time. I call it casual weeding). The tomato plants look good now, like they will produce some happy fruit. It was only an hour’s work.
When I got home and told Seth about it, he nodded. We had just had a conversation that week about the kind of task that feels much more reasonable with another person around to encourage you, help, and commiserate. For him, it was weeding a 200 foot long bed of tomatoes in 95 degree weather when no one else was on the farm. It was daunting, he said. He was discouraged, he said, frustrated and angry.
And then lo and behold, Tara from Going Slowly wrote a blog post about the same thing.
I’m starting to believe that we should all be pitching in on these in-the-weeds projects. I’m starting to believe that the community is what makes farming great.