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  • Writer's pictureJason Weening


Have you failed at something lately? Maybe a sale didn’t go through or a project at work isn’t panning out as you had hoped. We had a small failure at our house the other day. 

We were all excited about expanding our garden this year. Maybe we’re becoming farmers. Not sure where the line is between gardening and farming.

Farmers probably don’t make the mistakes I do. 

While the weather was still cool we had started a few dozen seedlings in the windowsills at home. We saved old cans, yogurt containers and plastic cookie trays (truth) to get an early jump on our garden. We had about 4-6 weeks of seedlings started. All the kids’ favourites: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. Plus fun stuff like flowers, pumpkins and watermelons. 

You can read about our experience transplanting seedlings here.

The boys helped me build a portable plant mover out of an old garden wagon, some old wood and some old bikes. It’s the ultimate plant tricycle. We use it to roll the seedlings in and out of the greenhouse we built this spring.

Since the weather was warming up we had stopped rolling it in and out. We had also planted 16 tomato plants and thousands of other seeds in the garden, some of which were beginning to sprout. In the past we have planted near the end of May during the long weekend but this year with the earlier warm weather we thought we’d get a head start.

Rookie move. 

I had checked the weather earlier that day and it was going to stay a few degrees above freezing so I thought the garden would be okay. I gambled and I lost.

On May 28 we had frost. If you’re not a gardener, here’s the scoop: Frost kills plants. So many plants were withered and brown the next day. All the tomatoes were dead. Some cucumbers that were starting to sprout? Done. The load of seedlings on the plant tricycle?


It was kind of depressing to watch six weeks of work go up in flames. Go down in frost that is. Farming failure.  Gardening flop.

But the good news is that we can start over. Re-plant. Re-start. Re-grow. And that’s one of the good things about failure. You can just start over again. I once heard John Maxwell say that you can be sad about your failure for 24 hours and after that it’s time to get back to work. With that in mind I better grab some kids and head outside with these tomato seeds. 

You’ve got what it takes dad. Start over if you need too. Fail forward. Make every moment count!

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Ryan Gustafson
Ryan Gustafson
May 05

So sad to lose plants to frost! I have a very small garden so every plant is very dear! I can't imagine losing 6 weeks of work like that!

Jason Weening
Jason Weening
May 07
Replying to

Maybe a small garden is a better idea! Less plants for me to kill :)

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