These are exiting and nerve-wracking times in the political landscape – doubtless many of us are tired of hearing about the latest shenanigans from the stump. But I couldn’t help making the connection last week to the presidential hopefuls as I passed by the table in our bedroom this morning that is loaded with greening trays and pots, and reminded myself that I MUST transplant the sprouts today.
We are all transplants in North America, depending how far back you go, considering Africa as the cradle of human civilization, and theorized emigration across the Bering Strait bringing humans to this continent(what made them do it? cold? war?…alas, history lesson forgotten). Every time I put the frail-looking seedlings into bigger spaces, watch them strengthen and rise, becoming producers of volumes of edible stuff, I am amazed. And deeply satisfied. True, transplants human or horticultural require some extra TLC – but once established they are tough contributors. But being as this is a horticultural more than a political post, I’ll leave that rumination there, and run for my potting soil.
In times of upheaval it’s a wonderful thing to slink away and spend time planting seed and seedlings for a summer of eating. Nature’s cycles of growth are a reassuring pulse, deeper, stronger, and longer-lived than the flapping of jaws on the podium. True that our climate lately has turned as chaotic as our political scene — last week temperatures varying from 30 degrees to 80s, very unsettling for Maryland in March. Hard to plan or guess what will come next?
Still, if we wish to eat food we must grow food – or else someone must grow it. This is a simple fact. So forward we go. And even though the weather patterns are uncertain it is still true that when you put a seed into moist warm soil, it grows. The process is primal and satisfying magic – and constant, at least a high percentage of the time.
Looking through the plastic sides of the berry boxes I use to get my seed started, I see some seedlings’ enormous web of root below, supporting those few baby leaves. Or, looking the other way, each set of tiny green leaves feeds a relatively enormous web of root – extracting from light and carbon what they need to make FOOD. The fact that carbon, problem of urban/sunurban living, is the food for plant life – what a remarkable system. It’s a privilege to partake in the process.
Partook in the process a LOT this weekend — flats of seedlings in berry boxes (my favorite method of for good germination of seeds)
become pots, and pots, and POTS (help!) of transplant seedlings –
filling every window – table – ledge, strengthening, growing, waiting for warmer weather to fill the garden beds outside.
Meanwhile, the Lettuce Boxes continue to add bulk to salads —