Spring Has (Almost) Sprung!

As I sit here typing this post, I have all of my seed packets beside me. It’s March here in northern Illinois which means it is time to start seeds! This year, we purchased seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds because I want to start saving seeds. When using hybrids, you are not guaranteed to get the same plant as the one that produced that fruit or vegetable, so heirloom seeds are the way to go.

This year’s garden will consist of Comstock Slice and Sauce tomatoes (should be great for canning), Parisienne carrots (that they sent as a free gift. Thanks Baker Creek!), the Cantare variety of green beans, California Wonder bell peppers, Craig’s Grande jalapeno peppers, Stuttgarter onions (a long day variety, which is necessary for our neck of the woods), Big Boston lettuce, and Boston pickling cucumbers.

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My husband made the mistake of mentioning going to Tractor Supply to purchase one or two mini-greenhouse we saw that fits the trays I currently use for planting my seeds. He said, “I’m sure we can find money in the budget.” Talk about making my heart skip a beat! I love that man! Money is pretty tight here on this suburban homestead, so “finding money in the budget” is a special treat.

If you are like me and live anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, you probably have Spring Fever. It is still too cold (and there’s too much snow on the ground) to even till the garden, but it’s not too early to start seeds. The only seeds I will sew directly when the soil is warm and dry enough are the Cantare beans.

I have no words to describe how excited I am for the coming seasons. I cannot wait to watch my seeds being to poke through the dirt and become hardy plants that will bear the fruits and vegetables I will use to feed my family. There is something so indescribable about going into the garden each morning to say hello to my babies (yes, I talk to all of the plants). I will lovingly smell the rosemary and tomatoes and think to myself, “this really needs to be bottled as a perfume”. I will greet the unruly raspberry bushes and compliment them on how well they are growing and how wonderful they look. Then, when there is something ready to harvest, I will thank the plant for working so hard to grow and produce this nourishment for me and my family.

But that time is quite a ways off. For now, I stare longingly at my packets and plan what will go where while I stare at the leafless trees that fill my backyard and the snow that blankets my deck. Mother Earth is still sleeping but she is stirring. All that is left is for me to be patient.

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