Inventing The Wheel

There is nothing new under the Sun.

This has been a hard lesson to learn for me as one who is always trying to come up with some new, wonderful thing that could potentially sell. Once upon a time I tried to invent a harvest apron based on my own needs when trying to use whatever top that was on me to cradle the pickings wasn’t fitting the bill. When I finally bothered to “Google” it, someone had already stolen my idea. Ha! So much for that, and they were selling it for way under my cost of labor, let alone the materials needed.

After Thomas Edison’s seven-hundredth unsuccessful attempt to invent electric light, he was asked by a New York Times reporter, “How does it feel to have failed seven hundred times?” The great inventor responded, “I have not failed seven hundred times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those seven hundred ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

All of the things we use every single day were invented by someone somewhere. It’s mind boggling.

After years now of trying to figure out how to grow food, it is becoming ever more clear that Mother Nature knows exactly how to do it and the key is to be with her enough to hear what she has to say. Read, read, read…hear what others have to say…go to the ‘experts’ for advice; but the only sure way is to actually do it and live in the results.

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Even then, it’s very perplexing and the science behind it is complex and sometimes hard to grasp.

Researchers have long assumed that the main way that plants lose water is through leaf pores called stomata. When water is abundant, the stomata open wide to let carbon dioxide flow in — maximizing photosynthesis, but allowing water to exit. Plants also lose moisture through a leaf’s waxy outer surface, or cuticle, but this effect has been considered negligible…

Is this why my plants look so dwarfed compared to the ones I see in places that get tons of rain? Are they not opening their stomata enough to take in carbon dioxide because of so little water and trying so hard to conserve what they have/transpiration? No, that doesn’t seem to be all there is to it:

Higher temperatures cause the plant cells which control the openings (stoma) where water is released to the atmosphere to open, whereas colder temperatures cause the openings to close. Relative humidity: As the relative humidity of the air surrounding the plant rises the transpiration rate falls.

I’m so confused.

Hand watering is terribly inefficient, not good to splash dirt up on the plants, and some don’t like water on their leaves, especially in this arid, Sun-tortured desert. It’s a great way to get to know the plants though and I rationalize my water use by claiming I’d rather use it to grow plant food than to eat meat.

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There is no way to know it all either. Things continue to unfold and awareness follows. Reading about how and when the wheel appeared in history revealed that sequences occur. First tools that could be used for the precision of making them had to have been already invented. And, of course, there had to be a value and need for them.

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Inventing the wheel was certainly an achievement; but as history tells, when roads weren’t available (war ravages), camels came back into play and that was because camel saddles had been invented. The wheel was of little value for transportation.

It’s an awesome world we live in.

I can’t imagine living without a wheelbarrow or a hand-truck. I certainly wouldn’t lash things onto the backs of animals and burden them with that trouble.

The moral of this story is though that Mother Nature has it all figured out already and we don’t need to re-invent what She is already an expert at. We just need to pay attention and study her habits.

She’s the best teacher of all.

They say that most inventions derive from nature, but that the wheel was a completely human invention; nothing like it exists in nature.

As far as gardening goes, I’m going to follow the wisdom of Thomas Edison and claim no failures, just eliminations of what doesn’t work.

Happy Gardening.

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June 29, 2017