The Hawk-Mo Hotwire

Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art

The Asparagus Theory

purple asparagus

With love, this post is dedicated to all of you that have inspired this mindset in me, through the sharing of your own struggles, persistence, inspiration and commitment. 

Here at Hawk-Mo we do a lot of things that lack instant gratification. We used to get mired in them. Irritated with how long things take, how much they cost, and how nothing is ever really done. Now, we tend to joke about it. About how all our projects, no matter how small they might seem, will take 2 months to get to 80% done, and cost twice as much as we think they should. Or we make ourselves stand back and look at how far we’ve come in the 2 years we’ve been here, or in the 7 years we’ve been working at RAGGEDedge full time.

This year has been a noticeable turning point in our ability to plan for the necessary dedication of time and money in order to accomplish our projects with less stress and ultimately more satisfaction.

It all began with our RAGGEDedge website rebuild. A project that we’d spent two years knowing we needed to do, and took us nearly 6 months from beginning commitment until launch date. But we gave ourselves the time from the outset. We knew it was going to be hard and we went in mentally prepared, so that when we struggled, it felt like a doable challenge, rather then an impossible project. Ultimately, it was, and still is, an immensely satisfying experience.

The Hawk-Mo garden, now in its second year, showed me a glimpse of its potential as it ages. Weeds were way less of an issue, I had a better system for adding nutrients and keeping up with watering. The result was an amazing bounty with what felt like very little effort. But all things considered I’m still a newbie in this endeavor. I’ve only had a garden for 4 years now.

Mom’s epically awesome chicken coop – 3 months and about $500, despite most of it being repurposed and free.

Hank’s lab is like a Burning Man art car. Every year, come “lab season”, a.k.a. Winter, he’s in there redoing the layout to make it a more efficient space capable of housing is ever growing collection of long term projects, all with an artistic Man-cave-tastic flair. Two years ago the lab was just a 10ft square building with a stupid bench. Now its a beautifully evolving living organism of Hank space.

As the year comes to an end, we are of course planning our upcoming projects for the new year. Between these conversations, and ones I’ve had with a number of friends planning their own long term missions, I’ve decided that we need some way to remind each other what this process is like so that we are more likely to begin, and more likely to persevere, and therefore more likely to create the change we wish we could. Like a mathematical explanation of the way things work, this theory of mine needs a name. So I’m calling it The Asparagus Theory.

Why Asparagus? Because asparagus is not an instant gratification crop, but it is oh so glorious over time. Because asparagus, when planted from seed, takes 3 years of tender loving care before you should really harvest any spears and taste the sweet flavorful goodness that is homegrown freshly picked asparagus. Three years!

When we want to begin something, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the hugeness of the idea and not know where to start. It’s easy to think it will happen fast, that you need it to happen fast, without realizing that sometimes taking it slow and doing a little to a time will help you make better decisions. It’s all too easy to discount the tiny doable steps that ultimately produce the big lasting results.

Asparagus Theory is all about planning for the long haul. Whatever it is you want to do, that seems huge and hard and impossible, its not. Just look at it from a 3 year perspective, and then break it down into a 1 year goal, 3 month goal, and a list of stuff you putter at in the next couple of weeks that work towards those goals. And right down your big “why?” Why are you driven to do this? When all else fails, that will be what keeps you digging.

{Please share your experiences with the Asparagus Theory in the comments}


About mudly

Mud is main blog writer extraordinaire, picture guru, and the garden and adventure instigator. She loves to cook, but doesn’t much like following a recipe. She also loves typewriters, the color turquoise, and wearing tie dye with stripes. And she dorks out on while dreaming up and planning her next garden.

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2014 by in Changes, Entrepreneurism, Everything All in One Place, Values.

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