Blueberries in woman's hands. c) donatellasimeone. Via Fotolia

“Low-Hanging” Means “Pick Last”

E. Forrest Christian Managing 3 Comments

It’s odd that an agricultural phrase (“low-hanging fruit”) came into business usage. Most of our business metaphors come from the military. It’s not a good fit. Agriculture would be, I’d reckon. From what I know from talking to successful farmers and gardeners, it’s a hard life full of risk. You have weather, sure, but you also have changes from plot to plot. You don’t just have to worry about which landrace will work on your soil but which will work best when it’s wet in the spring, dry in the summer and wet at harvest. All rice are not the same. You must predict the unpredictable (weather), rally forces to react to outside actions (war, markets, catastrophic atmospheric events), create adequate reserves while not having so much that they go to waste. Most of the time, there aren’t known good decisions. You have to make decisions in uncertainty, relying on the wisdom of the past and your own experience. Even non-modern farming has these issues.