Seeds. They never stop amazing me. Each one holds a miracle, and I am in awe with every single sprout. How can a tiny little black ball become a cauliflower in merely a matter of months? Or those strangely shaped rock-looking seeds grow into Swiss Chard with vibrant, colorful stems? The arrival of a new seed catalog launches hours of perusing, folding down pages, circling items, then paring down to not buy every single variety before still purchasing more than I can possibly grow this season.
Here in Zone 7b, there are a few seeds that I can already start. Somewhere in the move, I have mislaid my grow lights, so I made do with our under-the-counter kitchen lights, using my bread machine as a seed platform until my new grow lights are delivered. After we are adjusted to the pigs and have their systems operating well, we are on to building my raised beds that will be close to the house. I am choosing seeds right now to specifically go there. If our plans materialize as I hope, the raised beds near the house will be full to the brim with flowers, greens, herbs, and a few smaller veggies for a quick grab at dinnertime. Our larger crops and plants that require the most sun and heat will be out in the field in what I am calling our market garden, but its design is still in my imagination. I wanted some things close to the house for the convenience and beauty of it.
My soul is happiest in the garden. The act of pulling weeds even holds a certain level of satisfaction – much like fresh vacuum lines on carpet or the beauty of a freshly trimmed lawn. I did not grow a garden last year while we were searching for our new property and enjoying apartment living, and I am eager to reclaim my early morning solitude outside pruning tomatoes, weeding garden rows, and giving the plants what they need to thrive. There is something different that needs to be done every day, but the garden does seem to call for my attention daily. I thrive on the simultaneous diversity and routine of this country life. The jobs may define themselves a little differently from day to day, but the animals must be fed every day. They expect it to happen within the same time frame each day, too. A garden that is neglected too many days in a row can easily succumb to pests or weeds. As many of the organizing and productivity creators suggest, everything works best when broken down into smaller, doable tasks for each day. This truth also applies to homesteading. I get overwhelmed if I look at the acres of land we have yet to touch, but if I look to what we have listed for our January homestead tasks I feel accomplished. We have completed January’s goal with time to spare. Much like those miraculous little seedlings growing on my kitchen counter, the best friend we have right now is time. If we put in the work to create the systems and routines for success, we must simply give ourselves time to work the system. And time will tell if it succeeds.