Digging In

What greater joy is there in early Spring than seed starting? Normally, our family starts seeds in the early days of March, but this year we were busy looking for a new  home – and not finding one. I felt antsy as the days grew longer & warmer, wishing I had a garden to prepare for. Finally, we gave up on looking for a new place to live, and decided we’d stay put right here.

Staying here on this farm means it’s time to get the gardens ready for planting, and time to get some seeds started!

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The kids were so excited when I got out our seed packets and growing supplies! They had been disappointed at the prospect of not having a garden this year, and were quite happy when I told them we’d be staying in our current home and planting in the gardens we’ve worked so hard on the past two summers.

ImageLynden declared that he was old enough to plant his own seeds without any help this year, and quite proudly planted a tray of zucchini before losing interest and running outside.

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Robin wanted to touch everything. He thought the seed packets were great fun to shake, and pulled them off the grow table repeatedly. This was distressing to Raina, who wanted everything just so, and she hollered at her brother very loudly.

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Gaia watched intently from the comfort of the sling (thanks, Laura!), calm and quiet the entire time. She may only be four weeks old, but I swear she was enjoying seed day as much as her older siblings were!

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Robin started getting cranky, even though he had napped only a short while before. I held him close on the rocking chair, and noticed that his forehead was pretty warm. Within another ten minutes or so, he had a full-on fever going, and fell fast asleep.  The poor little guy slept the rest of the afternoon away on the couch.

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After Robin fell asleep and the rest of the seeds got planted, we headed outside to start preparing a new onion bed in the front of the house. I had dug up this space last Spring with the intention of growing carrots, but never ended up using it. The grass and weeds moved in on the freshly-turned and conveniently neglected soil, so now we’re starting all over again. Lynden and Raina thought it was great fun to pull the weeds and grass out of the soil (with their new garden gloves, hooray!) as I turned it over with a shovel. Turning soil is not so easy with a newborn baby in the sling!  Garden work will be much easier when Gaia gains some head control and can hold herself steady.

All in all, a tiring but extremely satisfying day. It felt so good to get my hands in some dirt! There is such promise in a packet of seeds and a patch of soil. We may have gotten a late start, but it’s going to be a fantastic growing season!

Getting Seedy

My dear boy has been waiting patiently to get started on his very own garden, but alas, we have been rained out again and again.  Every spare sunny day has had Mama and Daddy working in the veggie gardens, in a mad dash to get things planted before the rain settles back in on us.  So, while Lynden has decided exactly what he’d like to grow in his garden – sunflowers, beans, cucumbers, carrots – and where he’d like his garden to be, Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to make it possible for him to get out there and plant.  (Who knew we could get this much rain!?)

In an effort to satisfy Lynden’s desire to get gardening, I purchased this nifty little book, “Good Growing – A Kid’s Guide to Green Gardening“.  It comes with two packets of seeds and two little trays for sprouting – instant gratification! A perfect project to start on tomorrow morning.  Lynden loves sprouts (heck, we all do!) and his interest in growing his own sprouts has been piqued by the bright, fun photos contained within the book.  I hope this little side project will be enough to satisfy him until the ground dries up enough to get his garden going!

Seeds of Life

You know spring is just around the corner when it is time to start seeds for the garden! Many folks mistakenly believe that the last frost date in our area is the May long weekend, but in fact it is April 25 – just eight weeks away! Now is the perfect time for starting tomatoes, peppers and brassicas, and over the next few weeks we will also start zucchini, melons, etc.

My children love seed starting. Last year they were most helpful and we made a day of it; yesterday was no different. They ever-so-carefully pinch a little seed between their thumb and forefinger, and drop it into the tiny hole punched in the seed tray. They delicately place the marker in the damp cube of soil so we know what will grow, and tenderly place the seed trays on the window table. It is wonderful to watch them take such care and use such concentration!

Lynden drew a picture for the seeds to keep them company and make them feel happy while they sit in their little soil pods and spring to life. He taped it to the window so the seedlings will see it when they come forth.

It is so pleasing to have trays of seedlings sitting in front of the window when there is nothing but seemingly endless snow on the other side of the glass. I can feel the springtime sun when I look at those trays… it won’t be long now! Our gardens this year will be the biggest we’ve had yet, and I am so very excited!

In other news, Miss Cluck has returned to the bathroom. It seems she wasn’t quite ready to go back outside.