Jon has been farming for six seasons now. That by no means makes him a veteran but it should at least inspire confidence. But at the beginning of every season, our seedling trays filled with potting soil feel like blank canvasses. And we ask each other as we start to fill the trays with seeds,
"What if nothing comes up?"
On nights when we awake to a howling thunderstorm and driving rain, on the hottest day of the year, or when gale-force winds drive across our fields, I try to remember that the most fundamental instinct of any life (plant or otherwise), is that it wants to live. Our plants want to live and they will try their hardest not only to survive, but to thrive.
When we plant, the little seeds often take anywhere from 3 - 12 days to germinate (depending on the plant) and the worrywart in me always wonders what will come up. Okay, yes they want to survive but is the soil the optimal temperature? Is there enough light? Did we add enough organic fertilizer? What if we watered too much?
This year, on March 9, we got our answer. We now have thousands of tiny onion, leek, celery, parsley, eggplant, dahlia and eucalyptus seedlings. This picture was taken on March 11. Since then, some of the seedlings are already twice the height. By the end of the week, we'll plant several hundred more and this pattern will continue each week through late August.
That shock of bright green tells me that yes, we can worry all we want and try to make sure the conditions are just right, but in the end, life wants to live and I am happy to be shepherding some renewal and growth into this world.