March 26 07:19 AM

Growing seeds a way to sprout off

March 25, 2009
Ah, spring is here and according to the handy dandy seed starting chart that comes in the voluminous Master Gardener Handbook, I have permission to gather up my supplies and get growing.

It's anything but glamorous around my home. True to form, I wrangle old mushroom trays and cottage cheese tubs into incubators for tomato and pepper seeds. I cram as many as I can onto one south facing windowsill.

After a few weeks of the windowsill propagation method, you start to understand the value of greenhouses.

So caught up in pride that they're actually grow-ing, I give my tomatoes a few air kisses walking out the door in the morning. The next time I actually give them attention, the seedlings are nearly bent over trying to grasp every ray of sun—leggy and strung out. I whisper apologies, turn the pot and will them to right their curved backs and strain toward the window once again. I'm rather demanding.

Last spring, my charges had an unfortunate encounter with a waylaid bird. Whatever possessed it to come down the chimney through the damper is unknown, but hundreds of attempts at flying through the closed window and landing on top of the plants resulted in a slow, painful death...for the bird too, I suppose.

Here's hoping for a feather-less growing season...

Growing a garden is definitely back in vogue for some very obvious reasons, as Catherine's story attests to this week.

Escapism is a popular buzz word these days, so why not use it here? There's something very primal and simple about growing seeds.

While a bunch of talking heads debate just about everything and it seems more politically correct these days to be anti-something than pro-anything, I find I'm naturally gravitating to things that aren't subject to opinion, like the fact that seed plus soil plus water and most importantly, photosynthesis, enable the human race to survive. As I scribbled that—photosynthesis—into my Master Gardener notebook last year during our plant science class, I just about choked on my coffee. Duh. It's because plants can turn sun and water into energy for us poor chloroplast-barren souls that we're able to dwell on and analyze...everything. These days it's hard to think there's something bigger in life than layoffs, mortgages and Ponzi-wannabees.

I wonder when we began to think that growing food is a practice in appreciating the little things in life?

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Castle Creek
03 - 26 - 19
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