Are We Having Fun Yet?

Reader Contribution by Jauneta Stout
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More years ago than I care to remember, my husband, three of our children and I went on a trip out west. We were not a camping family, however we had a tent. One daughter thought it would be fun to prepare breakfast in a skillet over a campfire so we got things together and headed west.  South Dakota was remarkable; we found a national park and set up the tent. How was I to know one should take blankets if you are camping out west in August? Well, it gets cold at night, especially if it starts to rain. Of course it rained. Two of the children slept in the car. The rest of us froze. Morning finally came. We had brought some camp wood, so had the campfire breakfast, even though everything around us was wet. One of the girls quietly remarked, “Are we having fun yet?”

Each of us needs to have a little fun, even though that may mean different things. My neighbor has fun sewing, to me that is work.

One of the things I enjoy is starting seeds. I started lettuce in February, transplanted into the cold frame in March. Statice, unavailable at the local garden center, started in March, is showing true leaves. This week I will start cockscomb and snapdragon. It is best for me to stagger the plantings. Others may want to plant a lot at a time. I have started seeds for many years and still am not an expert. I have found the deep plastic produce containers with a lid to be good starters. Sow thinly. Use the point of a sharp knife to pick up a single seed (sometimes you get more than one) and space the seeds. I put the containers in the furnace room (dark, but very warm). As soon as there is green they are moved to a table with a fluorescent bulb overhead. Plants should start out and continue to be about 3 to 4 inches from the bulb. Either the bulb must be adjustable or your plants. They may be stacked first on bricks, which can be removed as the plants grow. The first growth is not considered true leaves; when the first 2 true leaves are visible they are to be transplanted into short styrofoam cups that have holes punched in the bottom. Set a group of the cups on a metal tray which may be filled with water. Then, back under the light. More about starting seeds later.

Whatever your passion is, have a little fun.

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