In all the different versions of my farming life, this current version gently feeds me far beyond my stomach. From late February to late May, I am able to have what I call a backyard art studio where I work with “my babies” – the seedlings. For me farming connects me to the magic of possibilities. It takes belief and hope to grow things. Belief and hope in ourselves and beyond.
In complete truth, farming is how I reach and dance with Spirit (God, the Divine, Creator, etc.). Spending time with the seedlings reminds me that I’m not in control. I can help facilitate growth by watering, moderating the temperature with fans and heaters, providing more food (fertilizer) when needed and gush love on the little beauties. Yet ultimately, there are so many pieces that are out of my hands. I love being reminded that I’m not in control. It actually let’s me off the hook. I can relax.
I marvel at the days when I wake up less than sparkling and hear the message, ”Just go be with your seedlings.“ Simply visiting them and tending to their needs often helps return me to center. Nestled inside the hoop houses, you can feel the oxygen, smell the living soil, and absorb the many shades of green. My wife will comment on the difference she sees in my face after a visit. It’s as if I’ve visited with an old friend. And I have. I can find me, my grounded self. The self that lovingly reminds me that things will work out as they need to. I got into this work to connect with my gentler self (not the crack-the-whip, “you’re only ‘worth it’ if you wear yourself out” self).
Growing up, I was the kid who would walk into a room and energetically beam my love to everyone. That ‘hello, world - I love you’ vibe hasn’t been front and center all my days. Thankfully, through the internal and personal work, I feel myself embracing and sharing that version of myself more freely. Farming or the seedlings have definitely helped with this.
So much of seedling time is experiencing the birthing part of the circle of life. As the seedlings grow they smile back at me, like this gem: A young cucumber plant’s first set of ‘true’ leaves shares a heart (at least, that’s what it feels like to me).
The glow in the early morning inside the womb-like hoop houses dazzles.
The colors and the way the dew clings to the young plants delights.
You might wonder how I feel about selling the seedlings (these beauties that have brought me so much joy and connection). To me, the seedlings are like little soldiers ready to grow and feed others. And honestly, by then they've grown and expanded (in size and in their daily needs) that I'm ready to shift my focus on growing our own home garden. Plus, I really like creating all types of consumables; be that cooking, growing food, notecards, kid's hand puppets, mandala coloring books, and facilitating connections. This version of creating feels like I'm part of a process, contributing to the human community. I lovingly nurture the seedlings and know that they'll go on and be part of others' world. My heart loves feeling connected this way.