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Thursday, January 5, 2017

The parable of the flowers and kale

A gardener built a raised bed. In deciding what to plant, he had settled between two choices: ornamental flowers or kale. The ornamental flowers were what he liked. When in bloom, they would attract bees and butterflies. They would be beautiful to look upon. They would impart a lovely aroma to the air on warm, sunny days. But there was a downside. They would only be in bloom for a few weeks. Even during that time, the blossoms would close on cold or cloudy days. After blooming, they would quickly deteriorate, and provide no benefit for the rest of the year while still occupying a great deal of space in the garden.

The gardener wanted to plant kale. Kale would provide high nutrition leaves throughout the growing season. It would be just as productive in clouds and rain as it would on sunny days. It would allow daily harvest of its leaves without reducing future productivity. It would be productive the whole spring and summer. Not only that, if trimmed down and mulched the prior season, it would immediately spring up as soon as the winter snow melted, far before most other vegetables. It would also yield far into the winter if simple steps were taken to prevent it from getting crushed by snow.

The gardener liked the idea of ornamental flowers, but realized that kale was beautiful in its own right, and all things considered, only a short-sighted fool would choose the flowers.