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Planting the Seed

It is just starting to feel like Fall in Southern CA (it was only 84 degrees today), and that makes me want to get outside and start the seeds for our winter garden! The winter garden is my favorite, I admit – though I deeply love pretty much everything about summer, most of my favorite foods are grown in our Long Beach version of winter: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cooking greens, lettuces, and root veggies. So… time to plant!

This year I am starting my seeds outdoors, instead of in the kitchen window as I have in past years – we’ve found a great little corner of the yard to act as “nursery”, and I think our seedlings will do well there. It’s shaded enough during the hottest part of the day to keep the soil moist, but the strong morning sun and a steady breeze should make them nice and strong for transplanting once they’re big enough.

And I FINALLY have a good system for organizing my seeds! I found an old CD organizer that is just the right size to hold all my seed packets, and keeps them dark and cool so they’ll last longer. I reuse containers that came with other plants from the garden center, and label them with our old P-Touch (my favorite toy) so I know what’s what.

It feels like the first day of school! Every season in the garden is different and surprising – we really never can predict what will do well and what will die for seemingly no reason, and I have come to really embrace this. I feel like in every other aspect of my life I try so very hard, and it is reassuring somehow to know that despite my best efforts in the garden, the vegetable gods are ultimately in charge, and this is one thing I cannot fully control. So instead I have come to embrace the process more than the product (though the vegetables are SO delicious), and take a break from the stresses of life as I sink my hands into the soil…