Every Spring


Every spring I put small seeds into small containers filled with dirt. Every spring some of those small seeds “miraculously” sprout into small plants; all reaching for something bigger. This year I am trying an array of plants; some of which are new, and some of which I have been saving from previous plants in previous years. It is this saving of seeds that is truly the cornerstone of growing food.

The Dester tomato seeds from one of last year’s tomatoes were the first to sprout, is the biggest and all of the six seeds from the fruit has now come up, and continues to grow at a truly admirable rate. The newest of the seeds seem shy, poking their small leaves from the soil slowly. The garden awaits and the seeds are willing.

I have started all the seeds in my hothouse. This year I built some homemade warming tables from a few pallets I got from a local hardware store. Covered in black plastic and sat on buckets, the heater placed under the tables provides the needed heat and the green netting draped over the large glass covers provides the needed cool. A balance, which is in the end: life itself.

I water from the fifty-gallon drum that I collect water in. The water is green, dirty and filled with time and patience. It is nature and somehow I must believe that there is balance in the liquid muck. The system has worked so far; the microcosm of life beginning and I look in upon it on a daily basis thinking that I am in control, but realizing that I am only a caretaker.

This year holds surprises that I have yet to discover. A new irrigation system to put in and try; additional beds and paths, new plants mean new beginnings and failures that mean new endings. There is a cycle here that is reminder of the greater cyclical nature that we are all a part of. To lose perspective of this is to lose track of the truth.

I am not the first to say this, but gardening is truth. I am not the first to realize this, but we do not control nor do we own; we are custodians and we loan a bit of time to find out what we can do and what we cannot do. This knowledge comes one plant at a time; one day a year when we notice the slightest bulge in the soil and begin making our plans.

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