i’m sure we’re not the only ones who spent the weekend looking forward to spring, and putting that hopeful energy to good use by poking little seeds into little pots of soil.
we use a variety of little seedling pots, including nursery flats that have seen many reuses and will probably see many more; containers from takeout clam chowder and ice cream, yogurt cups from before we started making our own; and those cool origami newspaper pots pictured above (they can be planted in the ground directly) which i learned how to make from this tutorial.
our little garden has been a trooper through the winter, continually offering up kale and chard even though we have had some cold snaps recently. and- be still my heart- quinn actually asked for fresh kale leaves. to eat. all they needed was a little peanut butter! wish i had thought of that long ago, and really, really glad he thought of it now!
still, we are so looking forward to what a new growing season will have to offer. quinn can’t wait to try planting carrots this year, something we’ve never done (and honestly, we get plenty for the entire year in our csa box, but it is so great to hear him adding his input to what should be grown- so we’re going to try two different varieties!) indeed, even though they are not a seed recommended for starting in pots, we did plant a few carrot seeds, first thing. i’m excited to try interplanting carrots with onions and lettuce, something i was reading about in one gardening book or another (anyone else an armchair gardener all winter long?)
quinn is lately quite interested in practicing his letters, and when i took out the sharpie to start labeling pots, it was an instant match- labeling became his self-appointed task for the entire weekend. it’s so much fun to see his confidence growing, and especially to see his enthusiasm for the whole learning experience!
the whole weekend had a definite garden-y theme to it. even craft time was centered around making inspirational collages for our baby seeds, out of the gorgeous seed catalog photos, of course!
last year our community garden friend had some amazingly vibrant scarlet poppies volunteer in her patch, and quinn was particularly drawn to them. yesterday, after many seeds had already been planted, he specifically requested that i dig out the poppy seeds, and find him 3 more pots, so he could start 3 pots of poppies for himself. (i love how he found this random beach-combed plastic spoon stashed someplace in the yard to use as a small shovel- gosh where has he seen that type of behavior?)
he lovingly looked underneath a rotting log to find 3 earthworms, in order to add one worm to each poppy pot. he has really taken it to heart that earthworms are a gardener’s best friend! i could squeal with delight that he is losing his squeamishness with creepy crawlies (inherited from dada, not mama! ) or at least, growing his appreciation for certain ones.
we scavenged a few old boards, washed and painted them with the last remnants of a package of milk paint i had on hand. i was going for purple when i added the red and blue pigments, but ended up with something that looks exactly like a barn- very pleased with this result, as it is very fitting for this little backyard farmer project. we put together some shelves inside the south facing glass doors (which don’t open) where our seedlings can receive the best angle of morning and late afternoon sunshine. (our big backyard tree doesn’t allow much mid-day sun to shine on the house at all.)
by yesterday afternoon, our warm sunny spell was becoming chilly and overcast, but by then we had our shelf put together and could take our time nurturing each baby- placing it lovingly on the shelf, deciding where various house plants would fit into the arrangement, adding little inspirational touches to encourage our babies to grow.
we put tealights in our volunteer avocado tree’s soil facing the four directions, quinn decorated some empty egg shells (and labeled them l and p for the leeks and parsley planted in them). i added a pretty fossil shell to the shelf, a little lotus bowl to which we can add whatever offerings we feel like (it already contains a marble and a kale leaf, via quinn), and i thought it was the perfect place to display the green pipe cleaner flower bouquet quinn made for me.
and last but not least, our garden fairy- she has been standing guard over our packets of seeds all winter and she is looking as happy as we are to see spring’s arrival just around the corner!