That is to say, that the mushroom growing kit has not lived up to expectations. (see also “We have a cow pat in the living room“) The blurb on the box promised 2-3 crops. Strictly speaking that was accurate. Unfortunately, far from a boxful of mushrooms, we only raised two or three each time. A total of seven mushrooms works out at just under £1 mushroom.

The spent soil is now behind the garage and the box thrown onto the weedy compost heap. I took a look a week or so later on the off-chance that there might be some more mushrooms. No, not one.

Was this a waste of time? From the point of view of self-sufficiency, economics and obtaining a healthy crop, the whole experiment was a bit of a failure. I shall not be in a great hurry to try growing mushrooms again. For the record, the potatoes, strawberries and peas seem to be coming along fine.

Having said that, I don’t think that this was a complete waste of time. Failure is a natural part of life and it is important to foster a healthy attitude towards it. Failure happens from time to time for all sorts of reasons. We are not doomed to failure but neither are we always guaranteed success. To borrow a phrase from the old Preacher: there is a time to succeed and a time to fail.

You could go so far as to say that there are even times when doing something badly gives us freedom from the tyranny of perfectionism. It is normal to fail from time to time – it does not make us a failure. In the particular example here, the mushrooms failed to grow well. That does not mean that I am a failure. It does mean that I have a choice whether to have another go some time or to try something else or to stick with what I already do well.

To expect perfection all the time can be like expecting to be able to run and catch the wind, as that old Preacher might have said.