One Seed at a Time
Starting plants from seeds is kind of like caring for a newborn or owning a pet. There is constant concern for their well-being. Do they have enough water? Is the soil temp warm enough? Are they getting enough light? Then there's the sinking feeling that may come upon finding a flat on the top shelf, in the back corner, that was missed and is now bone dry. Focus and constant care needs to be maintained.
For us, seeding time is the time of birth for each new season of the farm. Every germinating seed illustrates a magical gift that cannot be disregarded as mundane. All of the chemical and physical elements are there for the seed that give it the energy to break open its protective shell and stimulate the first shoot that will penetrate out of the soil and then form its first set of leaves. These leaves are called “false leaves” or cotyledons. They are usually small, are similar in appearance in most plants and fall off as the plant matures. As the seedling matures and forms its first true set of leaves the identity of each plant reveals itself. The kale forms their telltale little crispy wafers, the onion sends a single, long green stem, the chard open long willow-like colored leaves and the tomatoes give off their distinctive nightshade odor as the leaves are gently rubbed between the finger tips.
It's all germinating, looking, smelling, (and tasting) beautiful.
Tomato (top left), Swiss Chard (top right), Lettuce (bottom left), Kale (bottom right)
Flats are started indoors. When they are strong and hardy, they are moved out to the hoop house.