A nicely padded envelope arrived in my mailbox yesterday from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and I couldn't wait to rip into it. All those pretty seed packets - I gave each one the once over and a gentle shake just to hear the sounds of promise.
Every year I still marvel over the possibilities that exist in each paper packet. Seeds are amazing things. That something this light and small, when planted in rich dark soil and tended by our hands, can produce a bounty that can sustain us for a season and more.
All the seeds I ordered were there except for three - they were sold out by the time my order arrived even though I sent it in the day after I received the catalog. I think they were slow to mail them out this year, either that or my mailman was spending his lunch hours gazing at photos of zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. (For those of you who are saying "why didn't she just order online?" - I just really, really like ordering from the actual catalog. I don't know why.)
I did not receive my corn, cucumbers or hot pepper, for which I received a refund. No problem, I can just find the seeds locally this season.
I started the Waltham broccoli along with my four varieties of tomatoes today - cherry, sungold, beefsteak and brandywine. No roma this year since I will not be making a second attempt at sauce anytime soon. This season I am not going crazy with the tomatoes as I have done in years past. Resulting from ideas about lines of mason jars filled with home made sauce lining my pantry shelves, or being unable to say no to an extra plant, I always end up with too many tomatoes in the garden.
And of course, being the softy that I am, I simply can not thin my seedlings without feeling a tremendous wave of guilt. As I am trying in vain to decide which seedling out of a group of 5 gets the snippers, all I an hear is a little voice in my head menacingly whispering "murderer...."
Technically, I should be deciding which one seedling should stay, snipping away four (!), but that is how I always end up with too many tomato plants.
So now, in the basement, I have three trays of hope under the grow lights. The feeling I get from knowing that I can grow food is worth more to me than gold. If things get bad - job loss, economic instability, rising food costs - I can still put peas and beans and, yes, tomatoes, on the table. And if things are fine, great! I will still feel even richer with the knowledge that I can provide for my family.
Possibilities and promise.