Starting Seeds and Fostering Hope - Image is of green and red bell peppers in a pile

Seed Starting and Fostering Hope

Last weekend, we got the grow lights set up in our basement. The dirt flow and temperate climate make it an ideal space. Now, if I can just remember to duck each time I go down to check on the seedlings. . .

This weekend, I hope to get the seeds in the ground. I’m starting with some herbs from seed for the first time – rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano. Then, I’ll get some other things going – tomatoes and cucumbers for the greenhouse, peppers too. I bought some jalepeno and “wonder bell” pepper seeds, and I’m eager to see those grow. Hopefully, we’ll have seedlings of these to sell in the stand, too.

I’m holding these seedlings as hope because I can feel myself sliding toward a bit of hopelessness about all the prep I’d like to do in the garden itself. All this rain means we haven’t been able to get the tractor down to amend the greenhouse soil, and while we got the gift of two big loads of woodchips for the garden walkways, the soil is far too wet to work as of yet. Maybe we’ll get a few days in a row of sun – and really cold temperatures might be nice, too – so that the ground is hard enough to roll over.

Yet, even as I ponder seeds in that old basement kitchen where an enslaved woman cooked meals, even as I set my hope on prepping the greenhouse soon, I know that so much of life in this world is beyond my control. I rail against that sometimes – trying to wrangle things far beyond the breadth of my arms – but I always come back to the fact that I can only do my best and trust the rest to larger arms.

So this weekend, as I fill trays with soil and as I press tiny seeds into it, I hold faith in the Love that holds us all up and presses us gently into who we are made to be and trust that the soil will be prepped in the right time.

The First Dangles of Spring

I can taste spring with my back teeth – the scent of fresh earth, the grit of garden dirt, the onions fresh cut with the first mow.  I have never craved spring quite so much as I do this year.

Snow in Matsudo (Chiba, Japan) from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 t-mizo, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I fairly ache with anticipation.

I’ve pulled out the garden catalogs and planned my seed order.  It’s ambitious – very ambitious – for our first year here.  But I am eager to try some new things – asparagus, ornamental corn.  Plus, my herb garden, oh, where will I put my herb garden.  I think I’ll spend some of today scouting.

The first dangles of spring life are tiny, subtle. The flower buds on the dogwoods and fruit trees swell like they’re taking a deep breath.  I noticed iris shoots just coming up beside the west side of the house, next to the frozen icicle that has appeared on our single, leaky outdoor faucet.  And when Mosey was doing his business yesterday, I swear the wild onions looked just a bit greener.

But first, we have February to abide in, what will Phil, the prognosticating critter say, tomorrow. Will I be gritting my teeth through March, too?

No matter. We have grow lights in the basement, so baby seeds can fill the air with fresh oxygen and I can feel dirt beneath my fingernails.  The goats will keep their extra fluff, and the chickens will continue to fill their single, communal nest with eggs as the days lengthen.

I will find more books and seize the daylit minutes to double-dig the garden patch and prep the strawberry hill.  We can dig holes for the tiny sugar maples that will soon line the driveway.  And we have my office to finish – we picked up the paint (a golden orange called “Mac N Cheese,” which fits so well since that’s Philip’s favorite food) and the wiring supplies.  I’ll be in there come spring, I hope.

Meanwhile, I revel in the glory of multi-colored eggs and the frisky hops of a puppy.  I sit quiet with a book and Meander by my side.  I watch the goats frolic on their houses as if they were climbing mountains while Bella and Boone snuggle up with the cat Sabeen. I take a few minutes to celebrate the sun while Jelly Roll takes her name to life on the front porch in the beams. And Philip and I sit on the couch, hands entwined, movies on the screen, and listen to the Kitten Derby upstairs.

It’s winter, and it’s lovely. And spring is coming with stories and blooms I have yet to know.

What are you looking forward to about spring? 


By the way, if you live in our area, we are beginning to sell of our fresh, free-range eggs.  They are $3 a dozen, so let us know if you’d like some.  Thanks.