It Has Finally Begun

By Shawn
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Two weeks ago we ventured into the area of the basement we specifically use for that yearly task we have come to love. Getting winter out of our souls … and bones! It has been so cold and snowy this season. I’m just so tired of it. With the exception of ice fishing. It’s never too cold for that. Ice fishing trips are my winter picnics.

So, Siri and I went down stairs three weeks ago and got to work. We moved everything out of the way from last year, and swept up real well. Then we put the old saw horses back up and laid out the plywood and 2×10’s. We cleaned up all of the old starting mix and tossed it out.

We took inventory of what we had, and then headed for the stores.

We purchased bags and bags of starting mix and soil.

Then it was off to the seeds! One clerk from a particular feed store thought we were nuts for asking about seeds so early. I mentioned to her that if she knew anything about veggie gardening, she would understand. I could feel the strange stare from her on the back of my neck until we got out the front door. Once in the truck, Siri asked me why we were getting so excited about starting our seeds if the store didn’t have them out yet. I explained to her that I obviously drove to the wrong store. She just shrugged.

We finally arrived at the right store and we hit the jackpot! Newly opened displays were out, covering two isles. Seed starters, growing kits, seeds, top soil bags, etc. It was all here! I was like a kid shopping at the toy store the week before Christmas! I must have been excited too because Siri was looking at me with that nine year old girl look. If you’ve had kids you understand. When they make it you can almost hear them saying “OOOOkayyy”. It’s the same look I give her and her younger sister Zoe when they get crazy excited about Justin Beiber.

Once we got home, it was right to work. We cleaned up all of last years growing trays. The ones we could salvage anyway. We took out the stacks of egg cartons we had and laid them all out. I had to adjust all of the growing lights to the right heights to get started. They get hung from the basement rafters with cord, so as the plants grow, I can untie the knots and make adjustments. My wife Tami usually helps me with all of the technical stuff like that. Once she was done with what ever menial task she was doing upstairs, she came down and helped. I still don’t understand the grumbling that day but I don’t ask too many questions.

While Tami and I hung the lights, Siri began filling all of the trays and containers, then she got the marker out and began making labels.

She forgot the Popsicle sticks at the store. She said I forgot. Anyway, they were forgotten, so we used mailing labels. They worked just fine. We began taking out the seeds and planting. Siri didn’t like handling the small seeds like cabbage and broccoli so I took care of those.

We got all kinds of seeds started and we watered everything lightly. We got all cleaned up and posed for a couple of pictures. Before heading back upstairs we paused to look out across our future farm and she gave me a high five.

That was three weeks ago. So far, both red and green cabbages are up.

So are the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach. While every day starts with me bringing in firewood, shoveling and or blowing snow, sanding the walkways and cleaning off the cars, I know spring is here. At least in the basement when Siri comes home from school. We always water our seedlings after school.