My Favorite Saying: You Never Know!
Warning: this article is going to be a bit esoteric comic, be warned!
I like to believe.
Believe in what? Unicorns, Santa Claus, love! I like to give the benefit of the doubt and believe that something is possible.
Few scientists are so open: for many, you believe it when you have solid evidence, a p-value < 0.05, and peers who have validated the information every 10 years. (If you don’t know what a p-value is, consider yourself lucky!) At least, that’s what I’ve seen from my professors-researchers during my studies… And I have to admit that my spouse, a doctor in biology, is the down to earth one of the couple: if you don’t have evidence, you have no reason to believe it. It makes for very interesting conversations between two biologists speculating on whether X or Y is possible or not.
For my article of the day, I take you into my world of “what if?” I want to share with you a bit of my daily life, my vision of life and nature, to open your horizons and to know what kind of gardener you are.
Credulous, Curious, Skeptical?
First of all, keep in mind that at one time, drinking herbal tea to heal yourself was considered witchcraft. Now, the molecule naturally present in willow is used to make aspirin.
In those days, hearing an owl hoot was a sign of great misfortune, and we would kill the unfortunate one that came into our barn. Now we invite them in to get rid of our field mice.
Not so long ago, bloodletting was used to cure various ailments. Now we do transfusions.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to say, “the cows are down, it’s going to rain. Hang a crucifix on the clothesline”… I’m pretty sure that today, the link between cows, rain and religion is non-existent for most people.
Yesterday’s Magic, Mystery and Beliefs Are Today’s Science, Experience And… Internet
If there was a time when we did things one way, that can change. Maybe in a few hundred years, we’ll laugh at our current medicine, our beliefs… and the treatment we give our plants!
Maybe we’ll have discovered that planting on a full moon actually does something? Or that it is possible to communicate with our plants using pheromones? “Grow straighter if you want fertilizer, and put away your perlite!”
We don’t know what new discoveries and new technologies await us. Will we discover that having a rotten turnip painted purple on the toilet keeps thrips away? It’s unlikely, I admit, but you never know!
Gardening Is a Complex World, Full of Superstitions, Trial and Error
What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Why is that? I don’t know! We don’t know everything, far from it! Maybe a person’s tone of voice is more favorable to their plants, or maybe it’s the smell from their kitchen that stimulates them?
Ridiculous? Why is it ridiculous? Because no one has done any research on it yet? That’s exactly why it’s not ridiculous.
I have a few messages to share with you today, not as a scientist, but like myself, a positive skeptic who likes to give wild theories the benefit of the doubt:
Don’t believe EVERYTHING, do your research, but do some tests too. Is ketchup a good fertilizer? Take two cuttings and sprinkle one with ketchup water; you may make a wonderful discovery. After all, the greatest scientific innovations were made by mistake, or started by being ridiculed!
You’ve probably read a lot and have loads of knowledge. But give yourself some space too! A bit of time to daydream! And before you say “no” to the person who asks if they can water their plants with ketchup, ask yourself if that’s really the right answer to give. Have you tried it? Have you read a scientific article on the subject? Then maybe you’re about to ridicule a future Marie-Victorin!
You always plant a Lego block in your plants because that’s how your grandmother did it? Okay, but why? Is it still relevant today? In fact, maybe she was putting that block in just to keep the soil from coming out of the pot through the drainage hole… and because that’s what she had on hand at the time. “It’s always been that way” doesn’t always guarantee success, be open to changing traditions.
Final word: I don’t know everything, you don’t know everything, and nobody knows everything (fortunately, because they would have a lot of emails!) So be open to innovations, question what you do… and dare to try! So much for my thought of the day, after all… You never know!
And you, what kind of gardener are you?