In every relationship there are usually divisions of labor that are, as couples connect, defined naturally.
(And of course in some relationships there are divisions of labor that are defined very clearly by the dominant)
N and I have our things that we do or don’t do, and things we both do when we see something needs done. We both make sure the animals get fed, that there is water in the birdbath, and that everything runs smoothly on our little farmstead.
I do not plant things. I’m no good at it. I can keep animals alive, but give me a plant and I will forget about it exactly one second later. I don’t think I actually even notice the house plants we have. (Edit: I asked N about this. We do not have house plants because they are “rarely the best use of resources and time.”)
So, N takes care of making sure the beds are planted with vegetables, the fruit trees get their mulch, and so on.
And, incidentally, N does not harvest things. The limbs on our peach tree can be sagging nearly to the ground from the weight of the fruit and it will not occur to him that we can eat the fruit.
It works out well. Everyone has their strengths, and in this case our differences work out perfectly. N takes care of the planting and I collect the bounty.
This year, however, N decided to plant nettles in our tomato patch. When I saw the first leaves of the nettles form and recognized exactly what the plant was and where it is planted, I ran to find N, worried that some seeds had been mis-planted and hoping he would grab his gardening gloves and yank those suckers out.
Instead, N just shrugged and smiled. “They’re good companion plants.”
Now every day when I go to collect tomatoes for salads and sauces, I have to carefully make my way around the stupid nettles in order to avoid being stung. I write this with a stinging left thumb because this morning I just barely grazed a leaf as I grabbed a few tomatoes to mix with our eggs.
N finds it all very amusing.