Yesterday I was planting another succession of lettuce and greens in the vegetable garden. We do this throughout the season to ensure an ongoing crop. There I was squatting down in the dirt, after having made another long furrow, and ready to carefully set each tiny seed in its place. Have you ever considered how tiny one lettuce seed is? How about carrot seeds? They’re so tiny they can be annoying. We all know that thinning carrots is a result of how tiny those seeds are, and how difficult it can be to space them far enough apart. Yes, I know you can buy the pelleted form, but I never do. Back to my lettuce planting. I looked carefully at one of the small oblong ‘Bronze Arrowhead Oakleaf’ seeds I was about to put into the ground. Wow! This one tiny seed is going to grow into one harvestable, edible , lettuce plant. This will feed us. This one plant will make a salad for someone. This one tiny seed will be covered with a bit of nutrient rich soil, patted down, watered, and will eventually crack open, sprout, and begin growing into food!!!!! I just want you all to know, I have been growing vegetables for over thirty years now (not counting my childhood farm and gardening years), and I am still in awe of a seed’s amazing and miraculous ability to germinate and grow into a plant. I love this feeling ( even after all these years) of being stunned, of being in awe, of being surprised, and also humbled, by this natural world. I love that after all of these years, as an adult woman with many, many, seasons of lettuce planting under her belt, that I can still be brought to my knees by the potential of a single seed. The power of seeds, truly amazing! Farming, being a grower of plants, may not bring you monetary richness, but it sure does offer up gratitude on a daily basis!
The Man Born to Farming
The Grower of Trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout
to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
That the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth
Like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
Descending in the dark?