I don’t make my living as a farmer. The pace of my work days is not determined by the seasons. But life does get busier in the spring, as I try to fit a bit of gardening into my already full schedule. Planting time won’t wait, even if I happen to be in the mood to lounge around with a book or go out to lunch. As the weather starts to warm up, and the trees blossom, I start seeds–some indoors, then others directly in the ground.
Scooter loves to help with starting seeds. I’m not sure what the allure is, but he is fascinated with seed packets. He hears the rattle of the seeds in their paper packets and comes running, to roll on them and bat the packets around the floor in a cat frenzy. In spite of his help, I manage to get the early crops started in seed flats, where they will bask by the windows until the ground warms up a little.
Chard, kale, spinach, lettuce, cilantro–the greens are the first and last crops of the growing season. The warmer weather crops such as green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes flourish only for a brief time in mid-summer. The potatoes and carrots are patient slow-growers. I have to remind myself in the spring that it will be worth it–the cold dirt under my fingernails and on my knees now will be worth it when I can pluck fresh carrots from the ground in the evening on my way in the back door after work.
As a gardener, faith and persistence are needed to continue to nurture the tiny shoots that grow so slowly in the cold spring until they finally bear fruit–if they bear fruit. It’s a gamble every year. I bet my time and money and effort against the vicissitudes of the weather. When it pays off, it pays off big.