Chocolate Update

September/ October 2018

September/ October 2018

Every year I grow tomatoes.  It's a bit obsessive.  Each year I try to do it better.

This year, I wanted it all to be tidier.  Less wild, less messy, less crazy huge uncontrollable plants. So  I watched videos on pruning tomatoes.  I got tips on social media.  I bought stakes and twine and meticulously trimmed and tied... but nevertheless, by mid August I was tending to the biggest, wildest tomato patch I'd ever had.

The plants were probably five or six feet tall and it seemed they grew new tendrils and tentacles overnight.  It was madness. 

And it wasn't tidy.

As I stood in amongst those giant leafy plants one day, I had doubt whether they would even fruit.  There were so many branches and leaves, my pruning seemed futile.  I worried about the pests and the drought. 

I stood in there wondering, what is the cycle I'm in with these tomatoes?

Trying to control things?  Looking for different outcomes from the same input?  Chasing the same predictable successes rather than something new? Thinking the madness comes from the outside (the plants) rather than the inside ( I think I'll plant 18 tomato plants this year). Wanting things to be different than they are?

What I came up with wasn't answers.  Just more questions.  Am I destined to be a wild, untamed tomato farmer with tidy dreams rather than a tidy, well manicured one with wild dreams?  What other cycles am I orbiting?  Why do I keep doing this?
I'm still pondering cycles.  And, "why do I keep doing this?" is a question we've probably all asked ourselves about something in our lives, along the way.   But after awhile, those plants really let me know "I" wasn't really doing anything, except receiving.

I'm given a place to listen to the birds, to witness the speed at which nature can produce and a shady spot to think my silly thoughts & eavesdrop on my neighbours tossing Bud cans out the window-(which I strangely enjoyed- mostly in a highly judgy way). 

It's taken me such a long time to realize the value in that pause.  The quiet recognition of tomatoes as untameable beasts of the plant world and the birds singing alongside the unfettered "fucks" flying over the fence are the spirit that set the fruit.  Intangibles.

And the fruit sets.

This season, despite my angst and the lack of tidy, I ended up with more tomatoes than I know what to do with.  
Now it's Fall, some cycles become so much more apparent.  The school cycle, the seasons, the end of the year and the traditions we observe.  As we plan the next cycle of Holidays here at La Petite Souris Chocolate, I'm thinking about the garden. 

I wish I could tell you I had a tidy business and when I walk in the door I feel the rush of efficiency and productivity.   I wish.

I have help.  They politely ignore my trail of not done, non- digital, serial killer penmanship, to-do lists. Overwhelm, messes, caffeinated- half finished jobs are my calling card.  Within the clamour of backed up pipes, bills, emails and chocolate disasters though, are every person who walks through our door and makes us laugh by being so perfectly awesome or commenably awful. The spirit that keeps it all going.

And in the pause -- personal growth, happy customers, new connections, community and some really neat stories.  

With my thanks,