Fall is here: leaves are turning red, stores are stocked with Halloween candy, and it’s chilly enough to wear sweaters at night.
Yes, I just compared passive income to vegetables.
I know, you think I’m nuts. I’ve gone fruity! (Haha. Pun totally intended.) But hear me out:
The Hard Work Happens Upfront
Planting a garden is a pain-in-the-butt. Here’s what happens:
I sprout the seeds in a starter tray, which I mist twice a day. Then I hunt down 40 cheap planters and fill them with soil and compost.
When the seedlings are an inch high, I transplant them to containers. Feed them nutrients. Water them daily. Monitor for pests. Thin them as they grow.
Soon its clear I’ve bitten off more than I can chew – er, planted more than I can grow. I need more space. So I head across the street to the house that I own but rent out to tenants. I ask them if I can tear up a section of my own front yard and use it as a garden. (Side note: It feels surreal to ask permission to dig in my own yard. That’s landlord-ing for ya.)
Before I can dig, I need to chop down a tree. I have a small yard and the only place I can plant is completely shaded. So I spend a weekend sawing down the tree and hauling away the limbs. (Relax, earth lovers: it needed to be chopped down regardless; it posed a safety hazard. Trees in my neighborhood are famous for falling on houses.)
Then I have to till and aerate the soil. I listen to catcalls from the homeless guys who like to gather on the sidewalk in front of my house while I work. (I live in the city. This is normal.)
Next I head to the store and load my car with cow poop – er, “cow manure,” as polite society says. I dig trenches six inches deep, cover it with cow manure, and rake the soil back over it.
By this point, I resent these darn plants. This stupid project has taken at least 50 hours of my time.
Then I transfer each plant into the earth and cover it with mulch. The homeless guys watch and provide commentary. They’re like my personal sportscasters. Or paparazzi.
Now I need a fence. I buy some chicken wire, several stakes and zip ties. I find a shovel and a sledgehammer. It ain’t pretty, but it works. Then I check the price of tomato cages. Hmmm. $4 per cage, times 40 plants, equals – yikes. So I gather 40 sticks. Jab them into the ground. Tie the base of each plant to each stick.
I’m fed up with the plants now. I just wanted to grow some darn tomatoes. No one told me it would be this much work.
Passive Income Is Like the Fall Harvest
This lasts for months. My garden goes from being as demanding as a second job to being so passive I almost forget about it.
Now comes the harvest. I have hundreds of tomatoes. Hundreds and hundreds. Enough to feed the homeless guys. (They help themselves to it.)
You see, I do the tough work upfront – in the springtime, during the youth of the year. I maintain it throughout the summer, the adulthood of the year.
Now fall is here. It’s harvest time. And I have abundance.