Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Oh, how I love watching things grow. A new cabbage peeks through the earth to greet me with its dual heart shaped leaves. Beets pull themselves up with their tall rabbit ears. Spring Peas stretch towards the sun with their folded up heads, seeming a little timid, but ready for the world.
I enjoy taking a walk every morning through my garden. Throughout the entire growing season everyday holds new surprises. It is such a thrill to find that newly planted seeds are poking up and becoming plants. Each seed contains all the ingredients to make a special, individual, complete plant set on its intent to grow and produce just like its predecessors; this is miraculous. New growth every day is just as amazing. Can it get better than this? Yes, it does! I haven't even gotten to blooming, setting on fruit and harvesting! The first blooms on a yellow summer squash, or a burpless cucumber are a beautiful precursor to the wonderful bounty that is soon to follow. Tomato blossoms not only make me anxious for that first fresh, juicy tomato, but also is a sure sign that summer is here!
This time of year I start a new habit. I always put at least one packet of seeds in my pocket when I am on my way to the garden. It takes so much time in the spring to prepare the garden with tilling, mulching, cultivating and fertilizing that it is easy to get sidetracked with all these chores and forget about planting. If I have a packet of seeds I will most usually take time to prepare a spot for them and get at least some planted. Then, a few days later I am rewarded with seeing something new popping up out of the ground! In the spring it is nice to have a packet of beet seeds or spinach to sow at the end of rows that weren't completely planted out. This way I don't have as much wasted space. In the summer it helps if I take along squash or melon seeds and plant even 5 or 6 hills each time I am in the garden. Later in the summer when we start becoming overwhelmed with harvesting, I still try to use this tactic and take a little extra time to remove some spent plants and immediately plant other seeds. Even in late summer, zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers still have time to grow and mature before a frost. This is also a good time to start collards or chard. By spending the summer making sure I keep a packet of seeds in my pocket I end up with many plants in the garden that may have otherwise not made it from the packet to the ground.
Good luck with your spring gardening, and don't forget your seeds. After you have pulled out that chickweed and henbit scratch up a little plot and plant a few seeds of lettuce and radish; fresh salad is calling you! I will be grabbing that pack of seeds and sticking it in my pocket on the next trip to the garden.