Seedybeans Blog

Celebrating the Humble Harvests of High Desert Homesteading

The good luck/ bad luck garden


Rotten food or fertile ground?


Gardens can truly be fertile ground for metaphors in life.  Little lessons hiding under rocks and behind leaves, just waiting to teach us something we think we already know.  I am sure we can all agree that in the garden we reap what we sow…See what I mean!!  So in the spirit of metaphors, my garden seems to be showing me a lot about life lately, especially the good luck/bad luck side of things.  Just going to show me again & again, don’t be too quick to judge, to react, to panic, because, well, you just never know.  I am sure you have heard the story of the farmer and his son, right….. Well, is actually a story from Zen teachings but appears quiet sweetly in one of my favorite books, Zen Shorts, which I would highly recommend to anyone spending time with kids (it is profound, but in fact a children’s book.)

 As the story goes —There is a farmer whose horse ran away one day.  Learning of his troubles his neighbors replied, ” Such bad luck”.  “Maybe” said the farmer.  The next day the horse returned with two other wild horses. This time the neighbors all rejoiced saying, “Such good luck” and of course the farmer replied, “Maybe”.  The following day the farmer’s son went out to ride one of the wild horses and fell off and broke his leg….the neighbors of course all chimed in, “What bad luck” while the farmer simply replied ” Maybe”.  The day after all that, happened to be when the military swept the town looking for recruits, seeing the farmer’s son with a broken leg, they passed him by.  What do you suppose the neighboors said, “Such good luck!!” of course.  Though seeing his son lay around the house doing no work at all with his broken leg, the farm just scratched his head and replied,”Maybe”.  

In many ways my garden and my life this week has been like that.  My greenhouse being shaded by a huge tree…….in the middle of summer…oh, that is good thing…..Leaving the pump in the tank and having it slowly leak out…..watering the garden deeply..not so bad for what I thought was a forgetful mistake.   For those of you who have read the story of the Flower Farm you know this kind of luck runs around these parts lately.  In fact, the real reason I started this blog comes from what seemed like a stroke of bad luck, losing my job as a garden teacher.   Though I had lost my job, I was volunteering, struggling to keep everything alive and well, as I was trying to do the same for myself.  I was spread thin and honestly not very happy for a spell.  Such bad luck… Tuesday I actually started teaching at summer school, where the entire curriculum is based on Food.  Money was found to hire a part-time garden only gardener (not the Garden Teacher job I wanted) so the gardens are not forgotten or let go to ruin.  And now, I can teach in the beautiful gardens I created, without having to slave over them!! In fact one of my students saw me kind of dancing my way out of my  garden manager duties and trying to pass this role off to the new gardener and she said, “Erin, it is not fair that you have to try to organize and manage all this, you are a plant person and you should just spend time with the plants and with people like me who want to learn from you and the plants”  So True, So true!! And now, it is true, that is how I spent my day and will spend many more of my summer days doing the same.  In fact, instead of working in the hot sun and wind all afternoon, I picked a huge bouquet of flowers, all started by my own hands years ago, and though not the gardener anymore, I still get VIP garden rights …..Such good luck!!

Fresh picked from a school garden to my front door


Smiling to myself at how things work out as I arrived home…I was immediately stopped when I spotted a little caterpillar eating my Loveage flowers!!   “Hey, what do you think you are doing!! I asked him–Such bad luck!! 

After brief examination of the damage, who should land right next to him, but a swallow-tail butterfly, who he shall become himself someday.  Such good luck, I thought to myself– Maybe….


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