Last night I finally got around to getting some seeds in the ground. After the last big snow melted away, we discovered that the strawberries had already started coming back, and now some raspberries and rhubarb are too. This is getting a start without even trying, but I couldn’t let that make me lazy. After work I got home and went for an hour run, took a shower, and went out to plant me some crops. Just the one side garden, and then this weekend we are going to build two new beds for some different stuff this year.
I planted a bed of carrots – the kaleidoscope blend, which comprises red, white, yellow, orange, and purple – two rows of green onions, and a single row of radishes. The radish packet says I should get seedlings in 4-7 days, which is about the quickest-sprouting crop I have ever planted. And when I was done, my hands were dirty.
You see, I went out there with a trowel and broke up the ground, but it felt clumsy and somehow not quite correct. I decided to toss the tiny spade and go at it by hand. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but I figured that didn’t really matter. I stuck both hands into the ground and began to work the soil, just as my ancestors did hundreds and thousands of years ago, just as people still do in some parts of the world – and why not? This is a special kind of magic and the most wholesome activity that one can engage in: I’m not out getting in trouble, dragging the strip, getting into bar fights; eating, drinking and killing (thank you Aloha Screwdriver) – I’m hands-deep in the Earth, creating life.
See, I’m not a very religious man, but there is one thing that I feel absolutely confident in saying the church has right – humankind was made in God’s image – in the sense that we are creators all, with the potential to bring order out of chaos and breathe life into it, to turn the mundane into beauty and awe-inspiring wonder. Though we are hard-pressed against the forces of time and nature, we persist and progress; and no matter how long we are on this stage, each of us is absolutely vital to the overall story.
But I digress… This weekend my plans involve building those two new beds, and staking off the section of last year’s potato patch I plan to use for our “three sisters” bed, a scheme traditional to the Mandan Indians involving a triple-pronged symbiosis of corn, beans, and squash. High yields, it’s supposed to be.
What are you planting this year? Leave any comments below!