Saturday, April 4, 2009

getting dirty

Maybe it has something to do with the weather this Spring but I've been fluctuating lately, between (among other things) a futile sense of reluctance about taking on the responsibilities of tending the garden and my growing desire to feel the earth in my hands again. I'm sure this isn't an uncommon sentiment among dirt-lovers, but as a novice gardener it's still a bit new to me, this feeling of being drawn toward the ground as the Earth comes around the Sun and the days get longer... In just a few short seasons my senses have been re-tuned to the rhythm of the garden, as if it's in my blood, my bones, each cell. (It could very well be that this is truly the case, considering how much of it I absorbed, breathed, consumed last year.) And I'm only getting started. So much to learn, yet to be shown.

So today I mixed up a batch in the basement and dug my gloved hands into it, as a prelude to warmer days ahead. Part coir, part potting mix from Mother Earth Gardens containing leaf compost, rice hulls and peat, part leftover houseplant potting soil with vermiculite--nothing particularly special (just what we had lying around) but certainly sufficient and probably a pretty good medium. It was nice to rub the soil through my fingers and breathe in some dirty goodness, although in the absence of the Sun on my back and a gentle breeze in my ear I was left feeling a little unsatisfied. I contented myself instead by setting up what I hope will be a good spot near a reasonably sunny window, on top of the new heating mat we picked up this afternoon. Into four semi-firmly tamped six-packs I planted peppers (Cal Wonder Bell and Joe's Round, plus some really old Valencia and Jalapeño seeds about which I'm optimistic if not confident) and eggplant (Black, Rosa Bianca and Thai Green). Cut labels from an old plastic tub and marked with Sharpie. The first seeding is done and the excitement is palpable, at least for me... Cheap thrills, these--or maybe not so cheap--but a pleasure, nonetheless.

(yeah, the picture's blurry but it's really the best I can do with my piece of crap camera. changing that soon.)

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