Five rules for Tiny Farming

Tips and hints

This simple system works when you make it a habit. Going through this cycle just about every day through the growing season delivers all kinds of small results that add up. There are thousands of little advantages, most of which you won’t even consciously recognize, that contribute to overall great results.  Just doing things regularly makes you more aware of your processes, and ideas will pop up on how to improve them.

You can use a simple habit-forming process:

  1. The first time you think about your garden every day, make sure to also think about this daily field routine, and how you want to know that everything is growing well and whether any problems have appeared.
  2. As soon as this is mind, imagine how satisfying it will be when you’ve gone through the five steps, and how stressed you’ll be if you leave things hanging.
  3. Think about how the first step, Watch, is so easy to do, especially compared to the results you get. All you have to do is walk around for a few minutes, looking at things.
  4. At the end of the day, notice the satisfaction you feel when you’ve successfully cycled through all five steps. Think about how you are on top of everything going on, and how you’ve increased your odds of growing great food.

This same process can be used on the five individual steps. When you take a tool out of the tool shed, notice how satisfying it is to be able to easily get what you want, and remember Step 4, Clean Up.

This also works in a compound way, where several steps combine. After you’ve done your rounds (Watch), one of the decisions you make is that a section needs to be watered that day (Water). You need to and connect a hose—notice how efficient it is to be able to get the coiled hose from the tool shed, or, if it’s been left lying around, how much better it would be if it had been put away (Clean Up).

Our minds are continually thinking this way, anyway, so it’s only a matter of adjusting what we’re thinking about. Keep it up for a few weeks (research says it can take about two months to form a new habit) and you’ll find yourself in a happy new place.