Monday, March 24, 2008


Pardon my tendency to purple prose (Virginia Woolf made me do it), but there is something impossibly wonderful about seeds. Tiny, impassable structures like balled up armadillos. Add water, sunshine and they creep up from the darkness, roots forming tight, ghostly webs in the humid soil. And then, as if this weren't enough, they actually reproduce. They grow leaves, vaginas (actually, I believe they are called flowers, but let's not pretend plants don't have sex organs, and some down right purty ones at that), and then the bees come along (haha...pun--I'm getting carried away with this) and the flowers slowly mature into ovaries where the future generation feeds on the fruit until ready for germination. I mean, this is just amazing. I've never taken a proper botany class, but from my excursions in biology and environmental science this process is no less amazing to me than human reproduction. And, even better, you get to eat the mature ovaries of plants.

To risk this becoming much more suggestive and potentially disturbing I shall regale you with my adventure with dissemination. Yesterday I planted my first ever batch of seeds. I researched the various ways of starting seeds and found a nice little local nursery where I bought the basics--perlite, peat, and vermiculite. I managed to salvage some plastic plant containers (or shall I say "steal" as they were just sitting inside the gate to the landscaping supplies building on campus--but they'd been there for awhile and I assumed they would be there for awhile longer unless I took advantage), and then I just got dirty. Up to my elbows in starter mix and water in the biting Asheville wind. I started with a modest bunch of seeds--mostly herbs with some lettuce and eggplant). The seeds are now sitting in a warm room getting lots of sunlight. I don't pray, but I'm tempted to perform rites over my little darlings to make sure they come up.

You know, I really can understand wanting to ritualize this now that I'm in the throes of planting fever. Factory farming doesn't give you this much of a buzz.

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