Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

Seems the co-op gardening group I joined just four months ago has turned decidedly uncooperative.

Mother Nature did her share – providing good top soil, a sunny location, a level playing field, and the miracle of life. It’s the human energy that was scattered to the four directions. From the 10 adults that pledged their interest, money, elbow grease and other valuable resources, only 4 remain. I resigned last week, yet am grateful for the experience.

Here’s what I personally harvested from the garden:

  1. Several weeks’ worth of salad greens and collards. A handful of sweet soybeans and peas. Two ears of corn. Tangy dill. And one pilfered cherry tomato (sorry, C, we thought it was from R’s plot)!
  2. The knowledge that our food was grown by hand from heirloom seeds, free of man-made chemicals, and not genetically altered other than by the test of time.
  3. A new mantra “It was a good learning experience”. And, it was. I learned several gardening tips that I hadn’t known before, and will continue using like the spot watering idea.
  4. Communication is key. Without a shared vision, consensus, organized plan, and follow through, no group of two of more stands a chance of reaching their goals.  We started off with, but fell away from a mandatory time for everyone to meet, plan, work together and bond. And an online Group Forum could have easily broadcast communications to everyone involved.
  5. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t  make him drink” The biggest breakdown, in my opinion, centered on disagreements on the importance of water, and the best way to manage this vital resource.
  6. Value people and their heartfelt gifts. Tearing people down is easy and cheap. Building them up is priceless.
  7. Ongoing friendships with people I first met in the garden.

If there were any sunny patches outside the cabin, I’d scatter seeds in my own back yard.  But this shady spot (heavenly during our 104˚ heat wave) dictates that I’ll be searching for a different plot to farm next year. Hopefully within walking distance, with a nearby water source, and with friends who are as sweet as that first cherry tomato.


Think:  How does your garden grow? What blessings have you harvested in the last few weeks? What disappointments have you learned from?

Say:  Count your blessings – especially the ones that were hard won. List them on a piece of paper, draw them, or tell a story about them.

Do:  Use what you’ve learned to improve life for yourself and others. Take one action towards your life plan. Today.

Comments on: "Lessons From the Uncooperative Garden" (6)

  1. Jean Govus said:

    Hey Lisa,
    I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. I really love your statement about tearing people down instead of building them up. How true.
    Would you like some sweet corn? I’ve got extra if you do. Just let me know.
    Take care, Jean

  2. I’ll take some of that sweet corn too Jean! lol! Lisa, I’ve been thinking a lot about you the last few days and am glad to hear from you again. Hope you can find a good gardening spot by next season. Are you coming to TriCities for a visit anytime soon?

    • Hi Sam,

      Would love to visit sometime soon. I miss you guys & would love to see your new in-town house! Your posts inspire me to live ever more simply…


  3. Roberly said:

    Hi Lisa, I heard today that Jorgi is collecting seeds.

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