Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy New (Gardening) Year!

Today is one of my favorite days of winter—seed ordering day! Yesterday, while the Boyfriend was waxing his snowboard and doing very winter-like things, I hung out with him in the garage and pulled out my tub of seeds to take stock of what we had, what we needed, and what we could probably toss. It felt good just to hold all the seed packets in my hands and feel the seeds through the paper. It felt good to lose myself in thoughts of spring and green things. Each packet has a story or a memory—the tomato seeds I bought to grow for Mom's mother's day present, the green beans that didn't produce until October, the Siletz tomato seeds that have been with me since the Mini. I organized all the packets in a way that probably only made sense to me and would make any horticulturist or true gardener cringe.

Armed with my current inventory list, I sat down this morning with the seed catalog, which of course I had already perused and marked up, and decided what to order. I'm sure I ordered more than we need, but it's so hard to narrow it down. Here's the final order:

We're probably not doing melons or corn this year. After a couple disappointing years with both, we're going to give the space to something else this year. We're doing more beans, carrots, and squash. I'm also going to do more herbs since they dried so nicely in the food dehydrator last year. The flavor of our dried oregano doesn't even compare to what you buy in the store. I also want to grow dill this year, although I'm a bit nervous since I've been told it spreads like wildfire. However, with homegrown dill, Mom and I can probably make our pickles with almost all homegrown vegetables this year since I do garlic and we both do onions (her more successfully than me).

The logical part of me knows that spring is so very far away, but seed ordering day always makes me feel like we've turned the corner. When the seeds come in, I'll start some seeds indoors, invariably much too early, and start the weekly countdown to the average last frost date. I'll kill lots of seedlings and probably set my beautiful tomato starts outside much too early, forget about them some chilly night, and kill them, all just to start the process over again the next day, undeterred by how bad I apparently am at this seed starting thing. That's the miracle of it all: the hope and promise and potential that come with spring and each of those tiny little seeds is absolutely indestructible.

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