Planting seeds and a Window Greenhouse

The last two weeks, we have had some beautiful spring weather which has allowed us to start gardening again.  We were blessed to be given a number of packets of seeds this year.  I was thrilled that most of it is organic or heirloom.  The catch is that all the seed was packed for four years ago, so I was a little anxious to see if the seeds would sprout.  So far around our house, I have planted spinach, lettuce, sweet peas, snow peas, beets, radishes, chard, baby choi, broccoli raab, and mixed greens.  Many of these vegetables are a first for us.  So the last few days, I have been checking the beds each day to see signs of life.  It is amazing how you can watch and see nothing, and then one day the sprouts are up!  I was very excited to see radishes, lettuce, and spinach up this week, plus parsley which came up from last year’s crop.

This week we were able to get into the soil at the shared plot to which we have access.  We planted 16-inch wide swaths of six rows each of shell peas and snap peas.  The snap peas are a first for us.  Last year, friends shared some with us, and we were won over.

For the last year or so, we have talked about how fun and useful it would be to have a small greenhouse.  We live in town, so our space is limited.  A friend of my husband mentioned a window greenhouse he had created; so my husband and our oldest son set out to build one for us.  For the past three springs, I have tried growing seedlings without much success.  We have two windows with adequate sunlight, so the greenhouse was attached to our bedroom window.  I planted tomato, pepper, cantaloupe, thyme, and basil seeds.  I am excited to see how the seedlings do.  Before we had the greenhouse, I had planted purple cabbage, broccoli, and lavender.  The cabbage is growing nicely, but the others have not sprouted.

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Every planting season is an adventure.  We enjoy trying new methods and varieties.  Gardening deepens our connection to our Heavenly Father.  We more fully realize our dependence on Him.  We plant and cultivate, but we have no control over the weather and little over insects and blight.  We cannot make the seeds sprout and the plants grow.  We do our part and pray for a bountiful harvest.  A lot of things in life are like that: we do our part and trust the Lord’s guidance and care.

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The Dandelion

On a recent walk, our youngest child spied one of the first dandelion blossoms of the season.  He promptly plucked it and handed it to me with a sweet “Here, Mama!”  As I inhaled its scent, I contemplated the attributes of the flower many of us consider a nuisance and a weed.

Appearing early in the spring, the blossoms are bright and beautiful, cheerful and yellow.  The pollen, sweetly fragrant.

Children pluck a stem, a love offering to their mothers or make a chain or tuck it in their hair.

Wildcrafters gather greens for a tasty and nutritious salad.

Once gone to seed, who can forgo the fascination of scattering the tiny parachutes in the wind?

As a child, I remember gathering the greens with my grandmother.  She topped her salad with boiled eggs and bacon.

So who decided the dandelion was a weed anyway?

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In Like a Lion…

Following Frozen February, March came in like a lion.  Here in the mountains, we experienced more snow and a significant amount of rain which washed away the piles of snow remaining from February.  With the ground already saturated, flooding occurred in a number of the bottom lands.  The Stables, where our children ride horses, had two buildings with standing water which resulted in significant damage.  Our town, and several others, experienced a mudslide.  An old mine let loose, and mud and water flowed across and down the street for quite a ways.  Main Street was damaged and blocked off for several days while repairs were made.  Still, God’s protection was displayed as the mudslide went right between two houses, causing no damage to people or homes.

After all the destructive weather, you can imagine how delightful it has been to have some beautiful spring-like weather this week.  The sun shone against a blue sky.  The birds sang.  The daffodils displayed tightly closed buds.  For the first time this year, I hung out laundry.  The heat did not run all day.  The children cavorted in the sunshine and came in smelling of fresh air.  I planted spinach and radishes outside and cut off last year’s dead mint.  It felt wonderful to smell the fresh soil.

Time will tell, but I am hoping that what began as a lion will go out like a lamb, a fitting reminder of this time of year where we focus on the death and resurrection of the Lamb of God who takes away our sins.