Monday, February 20, 2012

Let us cultivate our garden . . .

"Neither need you tell me," said Candide, "that we must take care of our garden."

"You are in the right," said Pangloss; "for when man was put into the garden of Eden, it was with an intent to dress it; and this proves that man was not born to be idle."

"Work then without disputing," said Martin; "it is the only way to render life supportable....

Excellently observed," answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden." 

---From Candide, by Voltaire
It's seed starting season.  The weather is milder and we find ourselves peeling off the winter layers as we do the good work of preparing our land for the spring garden.  Today, when i was outside spreading rotted leaves over the garden for mulch, I remembered the above quote, as I often do when I'm in the garden.   It reminds me that the work I'm doing in the out there is not just work for food to nourish our bodies, but also even for our souls.  

We were created to do work, especially work that brings us outside.  When we are outdoors, we can't help but be reminded of the spectacular beauty of the land our homes stand upon.   We are humbled when we realize the work we do to maintain our own lives pales in comparison to the work that is being done in all the systems of nature, allowing them to perpetuate.  

I was restless all weekend, and I think I know why...I knew I needed to get my early starts done for the garden because we have a short growing season.  Saturday I spent a large part of the day finishing spinning some alpaca fiber I had been working with.  It had been taunting me!  With that checked off my list,  I started sorting through our seed packets and choosing what needed to be started, then washed the containers we would use to grow indoors until it warms up a little more outside. This year I'm experimenting with various kinds of starter containers because I ran out of the peat pellets I was given a few years ago.   We had some organic garden soil given to us for Eva's raised beds, so I sent Levi to scoop up 2 big bowls of that, and we set to work.  Once everything starts growing, I'll be able to see which containers will work best.

I kept the mini greenhouses the peat pellets came in and put the containers inside.  We tried: washed egg shell halves, egg carton cups, cut out individually, toilet paper rolls, cut in 1" sections, an egg carton lid and just plain dirt put in the mini greenhouse.  There is a drainage tray beneath it all, hopefully keeping the undersides of the plants from getting all soggy, and allowing water to be evenly distributed in the tray.

This year, we're starting the following things in our first indoor planting: sweet peppers, hot peppers, Hawaiian chile peppers, red and yellow onions, Hawaiian bunching onions, Oroma tomatoes, Manitoba tomatoes, Aroma Basil, Sweet Basil, celery, parsley, cilantro, and for experimentation: dahlia, blueberries, garlic chives,  and artichokes.  What do you have started in your windows this winter?

I'm looking forward to cultivating my garden and discovering the important things there are to learn when it's just me, the garden, a kid or two, God, and all His creation.

She needed her own special garden starts.  The giggles that she made as she put the seeds in her soil were priceless.

Ready, set, grow!


  1. Thanks for sharing about the start of your gardening for this year! I am getting really excited to garden but, I feel like I have so much to learn!

  2. You're way ahead of where I was at your stage in life~

  3. Now I really want a garden. Well, we will have one, but we are, as always, going to start out behind.


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