Written by Jamie Hunyor at Foothill Roots Farm
When you pour a handful of seed out of its paper packet, you hold the potential for the coming harvest - seemingly endless leaves of chard, a summer’s worth of tomatoes, too many eggplants to count. Turning the seed over in your fingers, it’s hard to imagine the bounty something so small will bring. The seed is infinitesimal, yet it holds the code of growth for itself, and nourishment for those who eat of its fruit, its vegetation. The right soil conditions, the proper amount of sun and water, shelter from the late snaps of cold are all the seed needs to activate itself, pushing a sprout through its coating to reach upward through the earth toward the light.
We are all capable of this care - it doesn’t take special training, although a green thumb might help make your plants a bit more productive. Life wants to grow, and it is already more than capable of doing so without our help, and even in spite of the disruption we cause to our environment. Tending to the growth of plants is our birthright, and when we look out at the landscape in our community we see that very fertility surrounding us.
The seed is a tiny book containing all the information necessary on how to grow into one specific plant. A collection of seeds is a library, each seed useful and instructive in its own way. The spring reminds each of us on the farm or in the garden of the power of smallness, something we must care for and keep from generation to generation if we are to continue feeding ourselves.
Now is the time to start seeds of your own indoors and keep them well-watered on a sunny, warm windowsill until we have seen the last of the cold nights. For any questions related to starting seeds, preparing garden beds, transplanting seedlings, or anything between, email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask a farmer. We’ll share our tips and tricks to maximize your garden in the next issue of The View.