Seedlings are usually started at some far-away greenhouse, shipped once they are of planting size, or just put out if they are locally grown. Then you have to beat the rush around Mothers Day to get the jump on summer, as well as try to get the types and prices you like.
Last spring, we were confronted with another unintended effect of climate change. Also, the place where we enjoyed all three benefits had closed down, and we were admittedly lazy about getting to a new source for our summer vegetable garden.
We were greeted with not flats of tomato seedlings, but individual pots priced individually, and it upset us greatly that there was very little variety to choose from. This and the year before, with the advice that the spring was late, that the weather was too cold to put the little ones out, that the trucks didn’t run on time, alerted us to the fact that along with putting by more and more if we are to eat well, we needed to take things into our own, well, yard.
So, we decided to save some seeds from our rather successful garden, as well as purchase only seeds this year locally. And we did. From Burpee’s to Seeds of Change, we were able to locate our needs at Lowe’s nearby, and I started what I think of as my field.
Most of the work was in keeping the initial records. I keep a database on Microsoft Access, so it was easy to list this year’s acquisitions per seed packet.
I used an ordinary tweezers to extract each seed from the packets, marveling at their hardiness. Each seed holds promise within its hard case, tough but beautiful in its own way. It took a while, but I got each row and piece labeled on paper, and each seed was pushed into the soft medium.
Was this easy? Aside from bending over the table where they sit under two bright lamps, it is pretty easy. All you’re doing is facilitating what Nature is asking. Fill the void, make it possible to contain and sustain life.
Being a part of the cycle of this season, albeit in a very small way, is as exciting as anything for us. No big tools, no big instruction books, just a feeling and a filling of a need, and a mud pot as well.