So, in a workshop earlier this week we were given the following “Icebreaker” question … “If you were a Vegetable, what Vegetable would you be; and why?” We had 60 seconds to come up with our answer.
I said I would be a Carrot. My reasoning?
- I am quite straight (in the sense of getting to the point)
- I have a firm root and grounding (I have a solid family foundation and belief system)
- I can be added to many different situations and add value (think Carrot Cake or adding Carrot to various savory dishes etc.)
- I do, occasionally, show some imperfections (like all of us – nobody is perfect!)
Finally, and confirming that I used to own an allotment and therefore am a bit of a Gardening fan! I also said that like the Carrot I am a good “Companion Plant.”
Let me explain that a little …
You see, in gardening there are plants that do well next to each other, there are some that thrive when next to each other and inevitably there are others that compete with one another and therefore should be kept apart! The same can be said for Fruit & Vegetable gardening. There are many crops that should be kept apart but more importantly there are others that really assist one another and have a mutualistic relationship.
For example, the Carrot is an ideal Companion Plant for Tomatoes. Carrots help break up the soil that Tomatoes are planted in, creating space for more water and air to get to the Tomatoes root system. Likewise, the Tomato plant provides shade to the Carrot as well as a natural insect deterrent, called Solanine, which deters insects that could otherwise impede the Carrot’s growth.
I suppose rather than giving a lecture on Vegetable Gardening (If you’re interested, Read Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte – it’s the bible of Companion planting!) this post is really just to trigger a thought of what sort of “Companion Plant” you believe you are?
Do you cause issues to those around you, subtly just get along with them or are you actually improving both your own and their output?
Have a think about what sort of Vegetable you think you would be, and why? Who knows, you may be able to make a difference?