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I cannot wait for this time of year. The very best part of the start of spring for me is the planting of my seedlings. I begin anticipating my garden for the coming year about six months in advance. I order my seeds, then patiently wait for the time to cultivate the seedlings to arrive. I get giddy at the thought of my seedlings and can’t wait to see the first specks of green peeking through the soil. There is a rush of true excitement that comes through careful preparation. I just got this great tool that will help me make my own seedling cups out of recycled newspaper. I know, for me it does not take much, it’s the small things!
Each year I grow the staples like bell peppers, spinach, and eggplants, but add a spot in the yard for exotic newbies that you can’t always find in a produce section at the market. This year it’s mouse melons, yard long beans, horseradish, and ghost peppers to name a few...
For me, farming is a science, a very hands-on experience. Sun on my back, dirt under my nails, the backyard becomes my lab. I categorize, hypothesize, and I theorize about the growing timelines, weather conditions, animal and pest behavior, growth, and taste. I take special care in choosing the right seeds, raising them and helping them to grow into the food we will eat. I love having the opportunity to improve my garden each year as I gain knowledge from what went right and what went wrong with my previous gardens. And really the best part is the continual payoff throughout the summer season, when I can go out into the backyard with my wife and kids and collect a wonderful plant based meal that I grew from seeds. Nothing tastes like a sweet heirloom tomato eaten fresh off of the vine.
I would love to someday have a greenhouse to grow my food all year long. Until then, I have decided to try and grow sprouts indoors so that I can experience the many benefits of gardening year round.