Backyard Parable


This is the first year I’ve owned a place with a backyard.  So I decided to try my hand at planting a vegetable garden.  We planted green beans, sugar snap peas, and okra.  Before putting the seeds in the ground, I got dirty tilling the soil, mixing in some Miracle Grow, and pulling out all the grass, weeds, and rocks.  All of the soil was the same.  The preparation of the garden was the same.  The amount of sunlight was the same.  The amount of water was the same.

But four different things happened.  My sugar snap peas exploded to life, growing about 3′ tall and producing several pounds of peas.  The green beans came out of the ground and got attacked by a rabbit.  A few came back, withered and chewed, and still managed to produce three beans big enough to eat.  The okra sprouted but never grew or produced anything.  I did everything the exact same, and got very different results from each crop.

The fourth thing I noticed was that months after the harvest I went back to pull weeds, pull grass, and till the soil again to clean it up for next season.  Everything that was not dirt was thrown out, and the dirt itself was raked and groomed.  And a few days later, without any care on my part, up shoots three small sugar snap pea plants.  All I did was till the soil.

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