So much of life on the Farmette is just a matter of putting things together and taking them apart. Right now that’s happening seedling-style.
I planted some seeds five days ago: tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and several kinds of herbs. All those seeds that can’t go directly into the ground at this time of year, or that simply do better when started indoors. I filled up the little plastic 6-packs with a seed starting mix, dropped a few seeds in each compartment and covered them up. Watered them in. Set them in trays on top of seed warming mats, with grow lights over them. Set them where they can get the best sun in the greenhouse.
Two days later, I was in there starting to get worried that nothing was coming up until I realized it had only been two days. I am not really all that patient. I talked to the seeds to give them some motivation: “Come on little beauties! I can’t wait to see your lovely faces!”
Those little seeds never contained that greenery. They don’t hold the seedling inside and wait to slowly release it. What the seeds have is the know-how to make a plant out of water and air and dirt. There is something in them that knows exactly how much of this and that they need to grow into what they are meant to be. They find the matter which will become their roots, stem, leaves, fruit, and eventually the seeds of their own rebirth. Putting things together.
When they are moved outside, they will be planted in raised beds that have been fed delicious compost for at least the past 13 years or so. Compost that is made from kitchen scraps and trimmings of other plants, and dried grass and leaves. The first part of that process is to dump all that material into the first bin, which is inside the chicken run. The chickens (our laying flock) dig through the piles of stuff, eating the greenery and seeds, then adding their own poopy contribution to the decaying beautiful mess. After a while, we get in there and move it all to the second bin, just outside the run.
Time takes over then, and microbes and tiny insects eat and excrete. It’s moved to bin three, then bin four, then finally it’s sifted to get all the big pieces out and put into the finished compost bin. Essentially, it’s one long cycle of disassembling and dismantling. Taking things apart.
The rising and falling, the making and the unmaking, are all crucial aspects of life on this land. Both growth and decay are sacred and necessary. My seedlings will grow and give us food and then they will die and go into the compost bin themselves, becoming food for their descendants.
A beautiful cycle. I am grateful to be reminded that there is a time for expansion and a time for contraction.
For all things here, including me. And you.
Blessed be the first stirrings of life!