I finally finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle during a recent trip, and I am feeling much less depressed about it than I was only 20 pages into it. What is revealed as you read the book is that Barbara and her family have been very serious gardeners/canners/poultry raisers for years prior to this. They spent a whole year remodelling their farmhouse first before they embarked on their quest to feed themselves. Their barns were already built. And they’d been building their soils and their gardens for many years on this property. They had well established asparagus beds, and knew exactly how much they had to grow of what crops and how they had to grow it. If I’m reading the book correctly, it looks like Barbara had about 15 years of experience prior to this point to practice. So now I don’t feel so bad, and in fact I think I’m doing pretty good considering I’m only in my third year of practice. It’s hard to be patient when you have such a clear vision of what you want to do. Unfortunately, that vision also shows me all the work it will take to get there. Patience, it seems, is my only option.