With the crops coming in well from the first planting in early September, this week's project was to thin. I'll admit to struggling with this somewhat. All that lovely energy gone into these plants that I'm uprooting. All that lovely potential that is arrested. But of course, that thinking is superfluous. Thinning lends energy and potential to the remaining plants, and there are always ways to use these thinnings.
I thinned three crops this week; beets, radishes and carrots. Beets, because unless you purchase special monogerm seeds, your "seed" will be a ball of several potential embryos. Radishes and carrots because the seeds are so ridiculously tiny, you can't hardly help but over seed.
Thinning gives you plenty of time to think about the labor intensity of farming. "Carrots should cost a LOT more," is a frequent theme of mind, while I'm trying to stretch out my aching back. Which leads me to question how the big guys can afford to sell them for so little. One way the commercial farms maximize profits is to reduce labor costs by buying special seeds and seed-sowing machines. This eliminates the whole thin-by-hand step.
In the meantime, while I don't have the special equipment, I am the cheap labor, and realize that it's like having a free gym memborship. Plus you can eat the thinned greens - fabulous in an omlette, or added to salad, or blended into a smoothie. Food from the "throwaways". Yoga in the garden. How does it get any better than that?
Plus, I swear the beets & carrots & radishes are twice as big as when I thinned them. Or, maybe it was just perfect timing.