Life lessons from the farm · Mr. Popeye · Vegetables

Coping with dead plants

I had to pull out another plant today, affectionately called Mr. Popeye #4. That’s two of the four spinach plants planted experimentally from scraps almost 2 weeks ago.

The journey of Mr. Popeye:


Water to soil
Photo Mar 09, 1 58 03 PM

First dead plant
Photo Mar 13, 9 10 11 AM

And now, the second dead plant… Knowing that this was an experiment, it should have been easier accepting their demise. From the beginning, I knew it wasn’t recommended to regrow spinach from scraps, and the weather is getting too warm for spinach. I thought I understood, and accepted the experiment on these terms. I was just going to try it out instead of throwing them out.

But I still feel sad. And defeated. And a little ashamed. Did I water too much? Water too little? Maybe this experiment was meaningless to begin with?

Okay, enough of wallowing. I am going to be proactive about it. Negativity does not suit me.

It was okay that I decided for this experiment;  I learnt from it, and it is okay to feel sad. But we have to do better and rise to the occasion.

So here’s the plan:

  1. Write and share about it
    Writing has always been healing for me, and it really helps me to sort through my thoughts. Putting pieces in place and seeing the big picture. Through sharing with my friends, I am telling myself that: it happened, I’m a little ashamed but that’s okay, and I am going to get over it.
  2. Learn from it
    The first thought that comes to mind is: moving forward, comply to the suitable seasons / instructions when planting a certain plant. But… I love experiments, so if it were to happen again, I’d still take on mission Mr. Popeye.However, I will probably do it slightly different, I may have prolong their time in the water before moving them to soil, snip off the old stalks sooner, protect them better from the warm sunlight… And just with these how-tos coming to mind, I’m already feeling better. THANK YOU Mr. Popeye #3 and #4. Spending time with you guys have made me a better farmer.
  3. Accept that plants die sometimes, and I will most probably kill more plants down the road.
    Yes, it will most probably happen again. When that happens, I am going to reread this post and remind myself of all the good things that I have done.
  4. Focus on the plants that are still alive
    Mr. Popeye #1 and #2 are still alive.I can’t say if they will survive until harvest, but I am still going to do my best to care for them, observe their day-to-day growth, and learn.
    Mar 18-10
  5. Look at my cute, still alive plants
    Just looking at them makes me happy. Every morning, I check out how much they have grown overnight, and it always puts a smile on my face.
  6. Repeat step 5 many times
    To make it easier for me to “repeat step 5 many times”, here is a collage of all my current cute alive plants. It’s not a lot, but I’m really proud of how far I have come in two weeks.

Ms. Bok Choy
Before Now 1.png

Taiwanese Basil
Before Now 3.png

Mr. Green Garlic
Before Now 4.png

The Accidental Celery
Before Now 2.png

The Vege Girl Project: Day 14


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