This weekend I spent a couple hours having a craft party with myself, getting the newspaper seed pots formed and filled with organic potting soil. They have been planted and are neatly resting on my beautiful, old record player. I enjoyed the last of Joni Mitchell’s Blue album before closing up the record player until May, when the seedlings can all move outside.

Currently, I have planted three pots each of brussel sprouts, sweet pepper, five tomato varieties, eggplant, and collards. I planted about nine pots of soybean as well, hoping I can transplant those outside before the next batch of seeds gets started inside.

Brussel sprouts have never grown for me in past years, but there are so many other factors that could have led to their ruin from direct sowing. Namely the chickens, as they scratch around in the dirt to gobble up any stray morsels. Hopefully I have some better luck starting them from seed, out of harms way.

I tried to hold back on how much of everything I am planting this year. It’s hard when you have a pack of 25 tomato seeds, times five varieties, not to just seed five or six of them. But last year I ended up with one 4′ x 6′ raised bed devoted just to tomatoes, plus half a bed in two others. I would like more diversity this year in our crops. It works out better for us to plant what we need for meals, and rely on our local farms for mass quantities of produce for canning.

This weekend the peas also went in outside! A little late, since you are suppose to have your peas in by President’s Day here in our Portland zone. I planted them in two different spots – one with full sun and one with partial shade. I am curious to see the difference in yield, since peas are listed as one of the few vegetables that do well in somewhat shady areas.

I think I was just glowing after getting my hands dirty, gently tucking those seeds in the wet earth outside. Even the feeling of holding fluffy, dark soil in my hands as I filled the seed pots was heavenly. There is just something special about preparing a home for a little, seemingly insignificant seed. Perhaps its the challenge to hope.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson