It is amazing how early Spring Fever came upon me this year. I mean, even before New Year’s had rung its last bell, my itchy gardening tendencies set in. I was waiting with baited breath for the seed catalog, planting my beds, and counting my nickels and dimes for my first seedlings.
Unfortunately, my senses were still working with last year’s drought and unseasonably warm temperatures. In the spring of 2012, I was able to plant my corn in March which developed some lovely long ears by the mid to late summer.
This year, not only did the Midwest experience some record snow falls but fluctuating weather temperatures throughout the winter months. Often several days would be 80’s weather and suddenly drop to 10 to 20 degrees. Snow and rain would fall and who will not easily forget the rapid ice and snow fall the first week “in May!”?
Early seedling plants I started in January and February flourished in their cozy little tropical domes but soon perished when three feet of snow and ice covered their would-be beds.
Nevertheless, my tenacity for filling my three 20’x2 ½’ beds this year finally succeed as I delivered the last of the eager seeds to the warm moist earth.
Gardening continues to thrill me as I watch from the smallest utmost seed, a tiny plant will draw nourishment from the earth and sun and moisture to grow and grow and grow into a self-sufficient plant producing delicious and edible produce. I often think of the Bible verses:
11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Frankly, I have to say, standing in the early morning hours and showering my little buds of life to fruition, “it was good.” No accidental imagination can create such an amazing miracle by an amazing Designer.
Besides some bumpy beginning this year and snow covering the earth of my cool season vegetables, already my little garden is showing astonishing growth. Potato plants are standing full and strong, little carrot sprouts are coming forth, peas are stretching their small little hand-like vines upward and grasping the trellis, lettuce and spinach and onions and tomatoes are shaping up nicely and adding an enjoyable fragrance to the garden’s pathways. In addition, my berry garden’s blueberry bushes and one blackberry bush has emergent flowers tilting their heads up to the sun!
Most amazing of all, the little dried up corn seeds I had tucked snugly into their bed just two weeks ago are now peeking through and smiling at the sun.
One experiment I am endeavoring to undertake this year was given to me by my generous Auntie Em. It is the new tomato/potato plant. This is a new hybrid grafted plant which I am nursing along to see if it will possibly work – which would add tremendously to a gardener’s space in the beds. Not much information is given with this new vegetation phenomenon because it is so new, so I am eagerly awaiting the results.
One piece of advice I would give other possible gardeners is to not only stick to assured vegetables you like. Experiment and plant one or two vegetables you think you do not like. It is amazing what you will try to include in tasty dishes from produce you have nourished from a seed. Although I have not gone overboard with onions, since growing them personally last year and this year, I have found I can more easily tolerate them in several unusual dishes.
Recently, I read a work-funny quotation by Orson Scott Card: “Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden.” That, I have to say, is an honest statement of my life three years ago when I began with a tiny 12’x12’ U-shaped garden, however, even though my circumstances in that regard have changed, my love of nestling seeds in the earth and watching the miracle of life grow before my very eyes will never alter or diminish.
I am a gardener and “it was good.”
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