Pumpkins and translation

You think I have gone mad. In the real world pumpkins have nothing to do with translation. Growing pumpkins, however, has much in common to my preferred approach to translation. I will keep this short, to allow you space to extrapolate further.

Soil preparation and growing of seedlings is always done with care. Something precious is being brought to life. Although this could be viewed as the beginning, there is a sense that the true beginning happened a long time ago. Perhaps the compost is two years old; perhaps the seeds were collected and stored on some cold winter’s day when making soup from a previous crop. In any case, it is the care that is important, as is the vision of the potential of each seed.

If you are a beginner gardener, you might have no idea how big your pumpkin plants will grow. You will, however, have had the opportunity to see other people’s pumpkins grow, and ask them questions about it. Lots of pumpkin growers have important things to say about growing pumpkins, and quite often, these gems fall from their lips casually, in gentle, unassuming ways. There is no fanfare, so listen carefully.

Next comes structure. If you want your pumpkins to grow on a trellis, you have to build a trellis. Using the resources available to you involves creativity and, dare I say it, some hard work. If you have loads of resources, you can outsource this aspect, and get someone else to do the hard graft, but you will not have learned anything about structure. It is up to you which way you want to go.

Unconventional, but unlikely to collapse

One other thing about structures is that they often need modification, or extension. If the structure has your stamp on it, changes to it and developments are relatively easier to achieve than if someone else did it for you. Such changes are more organic, if you like.

Any experienced pumpkin grower will tell you that pumpkins need regular watering. The amount of watering depends on climate, and a host of other factors, such as the quantity of mulch applied, and the quality of the soil. Suffice to say that greater yields are achieved by constant monitoring. Monitoring is a fancy word for observing the current situation and taking appropriate action, either to prevent disaster or improve the situation further.

One final word: the bigger the leaves of your pumpkin plant, the bigger the pumpkins you are likely to harvest. None of this happens overnight. It takes time.

©2019 Allison Wright

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