View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gardening with an accounting principle

Many years ago, when my daughter was a baby, I took a course in accounting. The idea was to acquire a usable skill that might lead to flexible employment, perhaps as a free lancer from home. I didn't get very far. My brain was Mommy Mush, totally obsessed with the adorable 4 months old at home. She was extra special because it had taken two pregnancies to produce her.

But I did learn something in that course that has always stayed with me: The Principle of Ongoing Concern.
It means that no matter how brief the future of an enterprise may be, you keep the books as if it will continue forever.

You may be planning to declare bankruptcy on your startup next week, you still maintain those books as if the business is working towards its centennial celebration.

Right now I am applying that principle in the gardens. One moment I want to stay on this land forever, the next the village beckons. There is much to be said for having friendly coffee shops and the beautiful waterfront within walking distance. A friend is considering putting her home up for sale. I love her place and have often imagined myself there. It is right in the heart of the village, but the fenced sheltered lot is private and offers plenty of scope for the aspiring urban food gardener. No deer and a longer growing season. Dilemmas, dilemmas. 

But meanwhile we serve these gardens as if we will be here for years to come. We garden with the principle of ongoing concern.


  1. "Principle of Ongoing Concern" - love that concept! It becomes very hard to spend time, money, and love into this old house and its surroundings if we might move to a different home. The next place might not have a thimble of garden, forcing a reconsideration about gardening in one's life. Somehow, I don't see myself giving that up. My dad made a determined effort in his last summer of life at age 99 to grow a tomato vine in the landscaped perimeter of his assisted living center. They were so amazed by his work (excellent Big Boy variety) that they made a small garden area for all of the other residents, so they could try gardening, too. He made it to 100, in part by his fierce devotion to gardening.

    1. What an inspiring example! Yes, I can imagine being limited to a container and still doggedly putting seeds into the ground.

  2. Oh how much I needed these words!
    We sadly with the usual Kootenay hardships of finances and lack of work might be moving in a few months time. We also might tough it out and stay. Still an undecided decision but whether or not to put in the fall garden has been frequently on my mind as of late. I decided to still put it in, just as we still put up the greenhouse this past spring even though we knew we might have to move it with us in the next year.
    Time will tell, for now I garden.
    I think I'll end up as urban gardener in my retirement years as it's easier (I think?!) than a large acreage, but who knows. Maybe I won't! Best of luck with your decision making :)

  3. Oh no, not you too? I am SO SICK about losing all our young people! Even the ones who are quite willing to put up with lower salaries find they have no choice but to leave the Shire and go live in Mordor or halfway there. Something is very, very wrong with this picture. I am glad you found some comfort in this. In many ways we serve the garden. Sorry for the late reply, I forgot to click the notify button.

  4. Oh, no, I love your blog, Isis! I hope you get to stay.
    I really hope to be able to visit you, Ien, before you possibly move to town. I want to see your garden. I really want to know what a Fortress bed is! Do they work against mice?
    I have been planting fruit trees, even though we still can't decide if we want to commit to this house. We can't figure out what we want. Further in? Where, oddly, the rules are actually better for the keeping of chickens and such? Or, further out? It'd be a long drive everyday for John, but we could see if we really have the mettle for small livestock. Or, just stay here, with our ridiculously-large yard.


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