And this is the way we cultivated food; cauliflower garlic, a puny squash plant all peeking through agricultural fabric that warmed up the soil, kept weeds at bay, and allowed only the selected plant to push through a hole and develop to full size. The investment in such a method was sizable: fabric, amendments, drip system, and water. (Yes, our municipal water system is antiquated and it is very expensive to deliver!)
We anticipated years of successful gardening.
And we did have many good years. All that preparation worked well for a long time.
But not everything lasts. And this method didn't last for a number of reasons:
1. Moles and slugs managed to destroy the tender shoots before we figured out what to do.
2. We never added enough amendments to keep the soil healthy and producing. Sandy soil like ours just didn't produce much. Our neighbors had brought in truckloads and amendments yearly to keep their soil going. We thought they were overdoing!
3. We began to have trouble bending, especially the tiresome work of weeding before planting, and throughout the growing season.
4. The fabric worked well the first couple of years; then, weeds popped up everywhere.
5. Water costs became prohibitive. We had to invest in a pump and a sand-well water that broke after the first season. We are presently on our third pump!
If this were a commercial enterprise, we would have been bankrupt. We treated our expenses as a part-time hobby, and managed to keep our anticipations reasonably moderate whenever we added up the expenses.
Some people here in the Northwest, with the ocean and so many rivers and streams do not hesitate spending forty thousand dollars and more for a recreational fishing boat. How could they possibly justify that cost when many times they spend days on the water without catching any fish?
I know . We make visceral choices, and they are just right for what ails us.