Spring has sprung here. There’s no getting around it. It’s very possible that we’ll get a few more snow showers (after all, we live in Montana, where it snows in August and it’s considered perfectly normal), but I think our days of snow coverage are ended. The crocuses are popping out, my lilacs and Maple tree are budding… and that means planting time.
This is the first time in 6 years that I haven’t either had a big belly, a little person attached to my hip, or been working full-time. (For some reason, working full-time while parenting meant gardening was a low-priority. Can’t imagine why!) The absence of all these factors means that I have no excuse not to be out digging dirt this year.
Last spring, the Engineer and I went on a planting spree and used up all of our leftover pea seeds and several other varieties of veggies left over from previous years. We were nearly out of our favorite variety of beans, among a few other things, so I knew I’d have to purchase a few new seeds. (Oh, the horror.) And that sad story is why I found myself crouched down furtively at the seed racks yesterday, accompanied by my oldest, feverishly stuffing seed packets in my basket.
So here’s where I let you in on a little secret. Seed packets, like potato chips, cats, and colored pencils, are addicting. You cannot purchase just one packet at a time. Nor can you purchase only one variety of veggie. (Unless, of course, there IS only one type.) It also turns out that Munchkin is a boy after his mother’s own heart… (Oooh, Mama, but we have to get this one, it has a butterfly on it!)
So despite my best intentions of purchasing only a few packages yesterday… this happened:
Clearly, I like Seed Saver Seeds… I’ve bought from them almost every year I’ve planted a garden. I love their selection, that most of the seeds are organic, and that they offer heirloom varieties that are not found elsewhere. They’re a non-profit based in Iowa, dedicated to maintaining biodiversity in seed stock and supporting small gardeners in their seed saving efforts. And now one of my local grocery stores carries their seeds, so it’s a double win for me as I really do love reading the back of the packets before purchasing!
Munchkin picked out the flowers, tomatoes, and Romanesco. Funny story about that – we’ve eaten it precisely once. He still recognized the picture and pulled it off the rack. Is he making the connection between the pretty image and the vegetable that appeared on our table a few weeks ago? I certainly hope so. Last summer he picked spinach and peas and ate them straight out of the garden. He knows where veggies and meat come from – knowledge I’ve tried to nurture since his earliest days. It’s gratifying to see his excitement about vegetables and planting.
I share his excitement, of course. This year I got the Engineer’s buy off to try planting potatoes using this hardware wire bin method, and the Romanesco will be a new crop for us too! Munchkin also wants to put in a butterfly garden (hence the butterfly weed) – his Ranger Rick Jr. magazine came and they’re making a big push to encourage kids to plant flowers that support the Monarchs.
So now I have to plan where to plant all this stuff… I also have to start tomatoes, which I don’t normally do. But Munchkin looked up at me with those soulful blue eyes and said, “But Mama, I really like tomatoes,” in a small, plaintive voice. Far be it for me to deny the child tomatoes. Heaven knows I deny him plenty of other things that make a childhood great. (I deny movies on demand and lollipops on a daily basis – what IS modern childhood coming to!)