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April 12th, 2011

A New Hope

Maybe I’m a simpleton, but every time I see those tiny green shoots peep up out of the soil, I am amazed. Not just sort of amazed, but like Grand Canyon amazed. Niagara Falls amazed. Just witnessing something so large at work in something so small as a tiny seed mixed with soil, water, and light utterly floors me.

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basil seedlings

I worry for a few days after I plant seeds—worry that something has gone terribly wrong, that my soil is too cool, or the light is not bright enough, or my water is not wet enough. I worry and worry and worry until one day, a little speck of green emerges and I can relax a little.

It’s the excitement, the exhilaration, the absolute thrill of germination that keeps me coming back to the garden and the whole process of planting hope and reaping joy.

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zucchini seedlings

Please join me in welcoming some basil, zucchini, and zinnias into the world. I’m still currently worrying and worrying and worrying about my parsley and marigolds.

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April 1st, 2010

moonlit meadow with water and dog

I got home late last night—around one in the morning. I took Chester out for a walk in the meadow. The moon was two nights past full and the world was lit with a light both warm and cool.

Our meadow is on a south-facing slope of a low mountain who’s name I should know, overlooking a wide valley with a long dark ridge on the other side a mile and half away. The moon hung boldly in the south.

I stood in the moonlight in the meadow while the dog made his inspection of the perimeter, his collar and tags jingling intermittently. I heard the soft rush of late night cars on the highway a few miles away. I heard small sleepy choruses of spring peepers down in the valley. Strange night birds were calling in the trees behind me. And there was something else.

I listened more intently, closed my eyes, blocked the traffic, ignored the peepers, tuned-out the birds. It was a trickle of water, a slow trickle—the sound of a tiny, tiny brook babbling on and on about some mad mission to get to the bottom of things. It was all around me, like I was standing in a wide, shallow stream.

I listened with my eyes closed for who knows how long. It was the water from the previous day’s rain slowly making its way down the mountain, seeping through the meadow grass on it’s way to the creek at the bottom of the valley.

When I opened my eyes, Chester was silently at my side, my philosopher dog in the moonlight, listening to the water and the birds and the sounds of spring.

And April begins.

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March 25th, 2010

yes, a custom watering system

On second thought, I may keep my garden plans to myself a little while longer, but my general ideas are: more raised beds, a new fence, new compost bins, kohlrabi, and a custom watering system.

That’s right, a custom watering system.

I always wished they sold short lengths of drip hose that I could use instead of the 50-footer that I’ve been using. I only want to water my crops, not my footpaths. I end up wasting a lot of water.

So my idea was to have a series of short drip hoses connected with short non-drip hoses, thereby creating a custom watering system. One day at the garden store I saw that they did in fact sell these short piece of hose, but they were expensive.

This year I’m going to cut up the old hoses to the lengths I need and use those hose end repair kits—the little hose repair ends. Not sure if it’s going to work, but I’m going to try it.

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