Because the Laughing Place took longer than expected to be workable, and because I am the queen of do it now, I started my garden from plants I purchased in local nurseries, home centers, etc. We all know how that went, at least with regard to the yellow squash! But it got me going quickly, and one benefit is that starting with transplants basically gave me an extra growing season. Southern California boasts a long season to begin with, now I have extra time, it seems – harvesting off my first batch of corn, preparing to put in a second, to add carrots where I removed the yellow squash, to begin a set of Roma tomatoes in new corners of the yard.
This time around I decide to try seeds. To allow my daughter to witness the very birth of food, to push little specks into the soil and watch as they begin to form into green shoots, to see them grow taller, to move them from the greenhouse to the planting beds, to know these plants. She has her own potato patch, and loves to wander the garden terraces, picking green beans or peas, eating them warm and crisp from the vine. But seeds hold a certain magic for a child, and she has not yet taken part in that type of alchemy in our own garden.
I purchased online a little greenhouse kit, then waited for four months for it to escape from backorder and make it to my door. At last, having built and sited the greenhouse, this weekend presented the chance to fill it with pots of seeds! Out came the seed packets, the tiny starter kit that I bought on a whim ages ago, even before the Laughing Place was a fully formed idea.
Who knew how much fun it would be to fill the soil pellets with water, watch them swell, then count out and plant our carrot and corn seeds? How different the seeds look and feel, the carrots – tiny flakes of seeds, the corn – looking as though we pulled it from the cob and let it rest until today, to start the process of becoming corn again in an endless cycle of birth, use, rebirth.
Of course, now comes the waiting, and the tending of the seeds in the greenhouse. I have never used a greenhouse before – will it be too hot, will I forget to water, will the tiny plants emerge or will the entire experiment become a lesson in the true art of raising plants – both the success and failure of such endeavors?