it starts with a seed

Today, in a moment of peace (well, more like 20 moments of peace), I had the luxury of sorting my seed packages, planning what needs started early, and cleaning my garden box. While writing out my notes, I could already see the blue podded peas growing, taste a black cherry tomato, and could imagine the rich smell of soil as an early carrot is yoinked from the ground. Yes, yoinked, but only when the ground is just right. Otherwise, my yoink becomes a curse as the green snaps off. Then, instead of doing the logical thing – getting a shovel to dig it out – I waste ten minutes getting soil under my fingernails as I scape around the carrot top, depsreate to get that carrot out. And in the end I get the shovel and I get it. And it is tasty. Oh, I am already there!

I can already feel the cool mornings and hot afternoons I manage to get into the garden, the anger and exhaution at weeding, the joy of finding the first baby squash, the dread at the sheer number of beans to pick and the utter satisfaction when I look at the mounding bowl of those same cursed beans. I love watching the magical transformation of our five dirt strips into a lush overgrown tangle of plants with little hidden delights under all the leaves. And I love sharing it with my boys, who seem to be developing their own love for the garden.

This year is exciting in its own right. What will succeed? What will fail? What new seeds will become treasured favorites that I want to plant again and again? What food item will I be utterly sick of and vow to plant less of next year? (This year, it will be less beets and less chard. Major winter overload right now!)  

My daydreaming is over for now. In the week to come, armed with my new book Carrots Love Tomatoes , I plan to spend a little bit more time on my garden map. Yes, I map each garden out and save the notes. It is great for looking back at what I have planted in the past, what worked well where it was at, and how much space was devoted to each item. There are online tools for mapping your garden, but since I cram so much into so little space, I do my own planning to get it just the way I want.