Kangkung killer deals with caterpillar poop

One thing I have learnt to appreciate during the “stay home, stay safe” period is a profound appreciation for those in the agricultural sector.

They are a bunch of unsung heroes that we do not see or hear of much but are essential to our wellbeing and survival.

Why? Well, can you imagine not having onions or rice or corn or vegetables or meats?

Ok, that is not the only reason I’m writing this. It is also because I have discovered I would starve if I tried to grow my food.

During one of the many permutations of the Movement Control Order (MCO), I started gardening.

I always thought it would be easy. Dump some seeds into the soil, water it, give it plenty of sun, and ta-daaah.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

I can safely say I am a failed gardening enthusiast. Many times over. Heck, I even killed kangkung, the easiest thing to grow.

It grows by drains and is a choice vegetable for first-time gardeners. Just not me.

To date, my stint as a home gardener has only yielded three half-grown chillies, some herbs, palm-sized papaya, one sad stem of sweet potato leaves and a lump of black potatoes … but I am not ready to give up.

Sheer stubbornness, some small successes, and also encouragement keeps me going.

Most of the encouragement comes from this bunch of people I “met” at Malaysia Gardeners.

This is a Facebook group I found while searching for gardening tips.

Made up of fellow gardening failures and gurus, the people here have kept me sane for a good part of the year.

The group was created eight years ago and has grown to more than 67,000 members.

It is a combination of avid gardeners, farmers, newbies, plant killers, and just people who love the beauty of a little patch of greenery.

Members of the group have consoled me when I killed my baby veggies, gave me tips on composting, some shared their mistakes to laugh together at our ultimate failures.

Others show their glorious successes to encourage us to do the same, some kindly give away seeds and cuttings, but most of all, the people give endless support and guidance.

As with all big groups, there are the trolls and some generally grumpy gits, but group admins have been wonderful and quick to advise and remind everyone to be civil and that there are many ‘right’ ways to do things.

So far, I have only encountered pleasant happy like-minded souls and I am very grateful for them.

They are so supportive to the point where when I found a caterpillar, they guided me through the process and he morphed from a squishy green yuck into a fine and beautiful butterfly.

One that I lovingly named ‘nincamPOOP’ because, in the early stages, he pooped so much.

The point to this pointless penning of words is to just give something you enjoy doing a go and maybe find a group of like-minded people who can encourage you … even if you just end up killing the kangkung for the hundredth time.

While we may see the end of the dark MCO tunnel, I might just continue gardening for a long time and maybe one day, get to eat vegetables that I grew.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

Tagged with: