What Growing Avocados Taught Me About Business and Life

What Growing Avocados Taught Me About Business and Life

Posted by Big Brand on 3rd Mar 2020

I thought my little “life lesson” true story was inspirational.  I kept seeing these online posts “It’s SOOOOO EASY TO GROW AVOCADO From PITS!!”. So, as anyone else would, I assumed it must be (soooo) easy to grow avocado from pits; I mean, can *all* these people be wrong??  And heck, I like avocados...

I then bought mason jars, cut open my avocados super carefully as to avoid damaging the pit (seed), washed them like I was bathing an infant, stuck toothpicks in them per the online instructions, and put them in the mason jars like all of the instructions said. I was positive I followed the directions to perfection. 

Weeks passed, months passed. Nothing. I finally got a small root but it wasn’t anything to be excited about. I would have to change the water on a regular basis because it was a slimy, gross, smelly mess.

More time passed. Nothing.

During this time I had “planted” 9 more pits; hoping ONE would do something. … but nothing happened. I read and reread the online articles. I watched YouTube videos featuring the identical information.

Nothing.  Can this really be THIS hard?  All these online people do it. *pout*

I even bought avocados from different grocery stores. Still nothing.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing… NOTHING!!!  Nothing except the worst smell ever permeating from the mason jars my window sill. “Did you forget to take out the trash? Never mind, that’s my stupid avocados”....

Eventually I was tired of trying with no results. I wasn’t sure if the internet was lying or if these pits were somehow “bad” or what the problem was. I wondered if it was my rooms humidity, if it was the temperature of my house or if the water was bad. I realized I just wasn’t doing it right… at all. But I didn’t know the answer.

The day had come that I totally gave up. I was frustrated and didn't want to keep learning. I mentally threw my hands in the air and quit. I walked my mason jars with smelly fruit pits out to the compost area and dumped them all in. That was the end of that. Life goes on. What a waste of 8 months of time!

I then found a “mystery seed” at Home Depot for 50 cents. Literally, it was this giant bulb in a cardboard box with a handwritten price of 50-cents written on it. The bulb was like the size of a baseball so it enticed me.  I decided to take a gamble. I brought home my mystery bulb and planted it.

Very quickly it sprouted and started growing. Exciting!

Days passed. Weeks passed. Summer 2019 was now a couple weeks from ending. I started my pre-winterizing routine in my gardens. My mystery bulb was growing into a gorgeous Amaryllis. I began trimming back all of my plants for winter. And, when I went to get fresh compost dirt to top off my gardens, what do I see? These strong, tall strange “weeds” growing straight up from the center of the compost area. Upon further inspection I discover that these aren’t weeds at all, they’re baby avocado trees! I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was so AMAZING!!! All along these avocado pits were totally fine, great, wonderful pits!  

I knew time was limited before our Michigan winter began so I bought a big pot, excavated the avocado plants, put them in the pot then brought them inside, by a window with a grow light.

Fast forward to February 2020…. These plants are friggin huge! They are so big that I am wondering what on earth I am going to do with them ("Hey Mom, you need 8 avocado trees for your sunroom? I grew them by accident."). 

Even though I have no idea what the future will bring with my plants, it’s a daily reminder about life:

The reality is, the advice I had gotten from so many strangers online simply didn’t work *for me*. Was it bad advice? No clue. But what I do know is that when I gave up trying to listen to other people and made a decision on my own, look what happened; it took off... sure, it happened by accident but sometimes you just can't plan everything. 

So that got me thinking... instead of giving up on the avocados, I could have instead tried something else.  Perhaps I could have planted them directly in a flower pot or maybe I could have put them right into the garden, but I was so convinced that the internet was right that I was blind to common sense! 

It is so easy to fall into traps where we do what we have been told is “the correct way to do it” but in life there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution; what works for one person may be a miserable, smelly mess inside a mason jar for you.  Always keep an open mind and never stop reading advice and learning, but never hesitate to change direction. And if you come to the utter realization that it just isn't working, try something else, because the "something else" may end up being the way that worked all along  :)

- Tori Thompson

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