The farm is covered in snow, but we are all thinking about the summer to come. Our thoughts are not only of warm, long days and green hay fields, but we are thinking about the crops we are to grow and when they need to be started from seeds.
When I first learned to garden, I thought that the process of growing food involved the purchase of plants which are then placed in the ground. Of course, the plants actually start growing from seeds, something I didn’t yet know how to do for myself. Here on the farm, though, I have learned how various vegetables get their start from seeds. Some vegetables have very big seeds (pumpkins) and some have very small seeds (lettuce). All need to be given the ideal conditions for their variety to have optimal growth. Here on the farm, we start seeds in our aptly named seed house, where the sun can warm the seedlings through the greenhouse windows.
Although we’ve been growing plants from seeds all winter – primarily pea shoots – the process of planting seeds begins in earnest this week. Yesterday we began planting seeds for onions and head lettuce. We will continue throughout the weeks to come, adding vegetable varieties based on the time they need to grow. Soon the seed house will be filled with trays holding seedlings on every available surface including the floor. As a chef, my responsibility is to plan for the varieties we need to grow for the kitchen, and then to prepare for the arrival of vegetables from the field.
Seeds are both ancestors and descendants. Seeds hold immense power. Seeds represent the future, and planting seeds is the embodiment of hope. We cherish our seeds here on the farm, and nurture them into their next iteration as vegetables we can eat. Seed-planting time is an exciting time of rebirth on the farm. We are excited for you to join us in the season to come, whether you dine with us or purchase a vegetable CSA or visit us at the farm stand. We value your contribution to the identity of the farm and thank you for joining us on this journey.