Saturday, May 25, 2013


It pained me to do this today. As I snipped off all those leaves - those huge, weeks-old leaves - it felt like one big sigh. And not a sigh of relief but a sigh of failure. A little embarrassment. And reality.

These Red Russian kale plants had done nothing but good work, growing with tremendous speed and beauty. As soon as we put them in the newly built raised beds, they took off. It was obvious they felt right at home. But they grew so fast that I couldn't keep up. Before I knew it, there was too much to eat on our own. (And none of my neighbors wanted kale, instead asking, "Do you got collards?" I know what I'm growing next year.)

So, today, it had to be done. I got the scissors and went to town. Every leaf, big and small, had to be gone. They needed a re-do, a start over, a second chance. And I need a second chance to tend, harvest, pay attention to them more closely.

And I knew this: the only way to get that second chance to was to lay it bare.

Now, a patch of stems remains. Bare, exposed, no fruit to show for their labor.

But though they are bare, they are not barren. They will grow again; they will bear fruit. Had they not been cut back so severely, so completely, they would not grow again, would not give us anything of value.

Take courage. Lay it bare. Grow again.

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