When I was about 6, the local drug store used to give away free flower seeds in the spring. I grabbed a few packs because they were free and I was a depression era baby’s baby and we grabbed anything that was free. It was liked programmed into our DNA or something. I went home to try my luck at starting those seeds.
First, I needed a container so I poured out my sister’s cardboard shoe box full of everything she owned at the time and went outside to find some dirt. The ground had thawed enough so I dug a hole in the grass with the spoon I took out of the kitchen drawer and found the dirt I was looking for. Next, I filled the cardboard shoebox with that beautiful fresh dirt, left the spoon in the mud and ran inside to plant my free seeds.
About 50 seeds fit in that little shoebox. I watered them extremely well, and put the whole sopping thing on the small window sill in the bathroom. It seemed like the sunniest spot in the whole house. When you live in the city, on a small city lot, extremely close to your neighbor, finding a sunny window is a real find.
Every day I checked my baby seeds about every 15 minutes or so to see if they needed anything. Day after day, nothing. Until one day a tiny little seed head popped through. Amazing! That brave little seed started it’s journey through all the torture and imperfect living conditions and still managed to pop its head through all the heavy mud and flooding conditions. The next day he was joined by about 30 more little buddies eager to grow. That shoebox adventure started my life time love of seed starting and gardening. How can anyone not love to garden? You get to experience the miracle of seeds, over and over again.
Plant of the Month Club
Gardening took a back seat to life for awhile. There was school to complete, travel, moves, deaths, births, and then at 22 with a new baby in tow, the Plant of The Month Club! It was free to try. Free. I had to try it. Remember, free is programmed into my DNA. I was hooked again.
My first shipment was 3 begonia bulbs. I planted them in the pot and dirt blend that was included in the box. They actually grew. Next came the ornamental mini hot pepper plant. That one was fun. I planted it and it also grew and had like a hundred colorful mini peppers hanging from the branches. Different plants came every month and I planted them all and they all grew. Except for the Bird of Paradise. I remember the failure well! I try not to hold a grudge against that one. The bird of paradise was one big disappointment but I got over it.
Since I now had pots of plants everywhere I needed to spread out into the yard. I needed more space and more plants. I always need more plants. Come to think of it, I always need more space too. Why did I think 5 acres was going to be enough. It isn’t.
I’ve been on this property for about 3 years. I planted about 100 trees, a fruit orchard, nut trees, 10,000 square foot garden, medicine wheel, grape arbor, chicken coop with 38 chickens (a thieving rascal swiped a couple), and I’m working on the edible landscaping. I still need a small animal barn, a fenced pasture, a pier for the pond, sand at the pond, pathways and a workshop (that I don’t have to share).
My Gardening Year
That’s the background. My new project is called, My Gardening Year. When I was working on my first garden, I found a book called, “Dick Raymond’s Gardening Year.” Dick Raymond taught me how to grow my own food and even though we never met, he felt like a great friend to me. He’s gone now but his work lives on.
I’m going to take Dick Raymond’s book and apply his advice to my garden. I’ll show you what Dick says to do and then I’ll complete it in my garden each month. Anyone that’s new to gardening can follow along and see what it looks like each month. And like Dick says, you can pick and choose what you want to do. Your garden can be bigger or smaller, a couple of pots or dozens of acres. If you want to follow along, and start your own garden check out My Gardening Year. My hope is to inspire others to grow their own gardens for food and medicine and experience the peace and perfect stillness that is found within.
Grow Along with Me, The Best is Yet to Be.