Now is the time to make a garden! Anyone can be a successful gardener at this time of year and I know of no pleasanter occupation these cold, snowy days, than to sit warm and snug by the fire making garden with pencil, in a seed catalog. What perfect vegetables do we raise in that way and so many of them! Our radishes are crisp and sweet, our lettuce tender and our tomatoes smooth and beautifully colored. Best of all, there is not a bug or worm in the whole garden and the work is so easily done.
It is so much easier to plan that it is to accomplish. When I started my small flock of Leghorns a few years ago, a friend inquired as to the profits of the flock and taking my accounts as a basis, he figured I would be a millionaire within five years. The five years are past, but alas, I am still obliged to be economical. There was nothing wrong with my friend figuring, except that he left out the word "if" and that made all the difference between profits figured out on paper and those worked out by actual experience.
My Leghorns would have made me a millionaire - if the hens had produced according to schedule; if the hawks had loved field mice better than chickens; if I had been so constituted that I never became weary, if prices - but why enumerate? Because allowance for that word "if" was not made in the figuring, the whole result was wrong.
It is necessary that we dream now and then. No one ever achieved anything from the smallest object to the greatest, unless the dream was dreamed first, yet those who stop at dreaming never accomplish anything. . . But the dream is only the beginning. We'd starve to death if we went no further with that garden than making it by the fire in the seed catalog. It takes judgement to plant the seeds at the right time, in the right place, and hard digging to make them grow, whether in the vegetable garden or in the garden of our lives.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Make Your Dreams Come True", Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Family Collection
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