Saturday, April 28, 2012

Seed Starting Ritual

Since I began gardening with Lily 3 years ago, starting seeds indoors has become an early springtime ritual for us. I have given up my high expectations of what those seed starts would amount to; instead it’s a fun and wonderful activity I love to do with the kids. We get to play with dirt, seeds and water!  And we end up with a sometimes tidy, sometimes untidy bunch of little containers full of dirt or peat pellets, with hidden seeds just waiting to sprout. 

Afterwards we put the trays of seeds in our large south and west facing windowsills and check them every day to see what might be popping up. It fills me with hope, childhood delight and anticipation.

When it was just Lily, things went smoothly; we took our time; I had everything ready and usually Greg, GramS or Nana took some great pictures. Lily loved it and would stick with it for over an hour. I can’t say I miss those days because Jasper is such a cutie, oh wait! Yes I can!  A cutie indeed, a cute monster monkey bulldozer of noise and energy!

This year, starting seeds was like a mini tornado sped through the kitchen. Fast, so fast, loud and dark with lots of damage leftover after all the dust had settled on the kitchen linoleum.  Not only was Jasper the tornado, but he also provided the warning alarms with his screeches of excitement over first wanting to eat the dry peat pellets, and then pure delight in squishing and completely destroying  the ones swollen with water.

At first interested in watching her own peat pellets expand, Lily quickly became amazed watching Jasper’s antics. We both did, amazed and unable to look away.

I convinced Lily to plant some sunflower and poppy seeds (her choices) in the pellets Jasper hadn’t obliterated, and then it was over, both of them too distracted and ready to move onto something else.  The whole thing was over in less than 5 minutes.  And as I tossed in a few of my own seeds (kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli) I decided there was no way I could put the trays in the windowsill this year. Jasper would have a blast, but I can’t say the same for the seeds.  

After I was done cleaning up, I put the trays on top of the refrigerator with the snap peas we had started between damp paper towels and realized I took absolutely no pictures of the actual event.  If this is a clue as to our future summer of gardening, it’s going to be way more crazy than I anticipated. Have I mentioned that dirt + water + seeds + one 4 ½-year-old + one 2-year-old cannot be “under control.” Perhaps the theme of my garden this year should be chaos!  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let's Garden 2012!!

Okay everybody, it’s time to get this garden and garden blog going again. I have no idea what this garden year will be like for us. There are so many things I can’t predict, serious things like the unexpected and tragic death of my mom we had last year.  And not-so-serious things, like the weather, the amount of slugs and cabbage worms that will infest my plants, Jasper’s sudden impulses to pop the heads off all the tulips just before they open, or show off his running ability through the newly planted seedlings. I don’t even know what my motivation will be like with a full-time job, two kids, and un-routine garden time.

So I decided to try my hardest to lower, lower, lower my expectations and have simple garden goals.

1. Plant lots of flowers because that’s what Lily wants. I love my girl! 

2. Plant a garden of deliciousness. We’re going to plant lots of strawberries and peas so we can hopefully pick them and eat them all summer. 


3. Appreciate the moment, because having control over a garden and having fun with a 4- and 2-year-old in the garden cannot happen simultaneously.

There’s no predicting in a normal garden year, let alone a not-so-normal one.  There’s only hope. So here we go Garden 2012! Hope you’ll join us for the moments!