A Fervent Planting Day, Spring Altar, and Persian Soup

A wildness is coursing through my veins, bucking winter out of nooks and crannies with a single minded purpose. Get out in that dirt, and start digging. When I did, I immediately unearthed three carrots from last fall – they were crisp, and looked so inviting I came back inside, kicked off my shoes, and ate them.

chill carrots and thrills
carrots chills and thrills

The garden soil was prime for digging – not too wet from this last snow melt – not too dry. The more shovelfuls of soil that were turned, burying decomposing leaves, surprising a few worms, the more antsy I became. Finally, I had to set the shovel aside, and head down to Paonia Farm and Home, center hub of the town beginning to be a-buzz with spring garden displays. Over half of a big cardboard box of onion starts, labeled “Candy Sets” were already gone. I picked out my snap peas, shell peas, lettuces and kale, a bag of Irish Eyes French fingerling seed potatoes, weighed out an ounce of bulk Bloomsdale spinach seed, then looked around for someone to help me with a bit of guidance about the onions. I found out that these Candy onions were “the best” onions ever, sweet, like a Walla Walla, but good for this climate. “They’re the kind of onion you can peel and take a big bite right out of,” said Dan. “I don’t believe I’ve ever done that!” I replied. He laughed and said he didn’t think he had either. I picked up a good looking bunch (they looked like small, slightly withered green onions, cut about 5 inches long, a big, chubby handful. A lady in line behind me while I was paying up at the counter eyed my purchases and laughed “Those are the best onions ever!” I said I was glad to hear two such fine recommendations about my onion choice, leaving the store on a tide of “Have a great day!” with the open good will and camaraderie felt amongst fellow small town gardeners.

Once home, I scattered my purchases out over the table, and flush with the bounty of the fresh farm eggs I’d gotten yesterday, wanted to cook up an actual breakfast. (To tell you the truth, I just ate two, but isn’t this clutch pretty?)

spring reverie
spring collage

By the way, we’re planning a summer solstice trip to Hovenweep native ruins in the four corners region of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona – and I’ve been dreaming up our adventure on the map….

Then just like the package recommended, I got my pea seeds soaking:

saokin' the peas
soakin’ the peas

Then interpreted the Rorschach blot in the bottom of my coffee cup:

Rorchasach blot coffee stain = "get out there! dig in dirt"
Rorchasach blot coffee stain = “get out there! dig in dirt”

It was a beckoning finger luring me back to the garden.

There truly must be some sort of primordial fuel in our blood. The garden calls us with a rich, deep pull and this quivering joy that is timeless. It’s getting stronger. Every year, I feel it unearthing something ancient in me. For one thing, you get to wear your oldest jeans and shoes, plus, you get to sweat and get dirty.

I do love that.

And, the connection to the earth! Do you feel it? The energy of the earth? Pure life force. I am in such gratitude for this bond. Pachamama…. with little green onions, rotting compost, and a melting snow bank there, off in the background.

"Candy" onions (so good you can peel them and take a bite - says Dan at Paonia Farm and Home
“Candy” onions (so good you can peel them and take a bite – says Dan at Paonia Farm and Home

I plan to grow and preserve even more of my food this season. The land is calling us to, and my heart surely is. 🙂

blue sky weather report in the tiny bird bath
blue sky weather report in the tiny bird bath
strawberry fields forever
strawberry fields forever
eyes aimed close to the ground
eyes aimed close to the ground

This is the earliest I’ve ever planted, but I hear the timing is right. I’m delving a little more into biodynamic methods – which are intriguing, I was gifted two of the sprays Heaven and Earth, last year – plus gleaning gardening tips from other locals here in the North Fork, plus, and probably foremost, the sense of timing that creates these bursts of energy in me. I love connecting with the seeds – the swollen peas as I pushed them in the ground, a few strawberries which had leaped and jumped last summer (then got dug up and replanted this spring), the famous Candy onion starts. Volunteer garlic with it’s spiky green shoots is all over, back by the elderberries.

clusters of volunteer garlic
clusters of volunteer garlic

Snow still sits in slowly shrinking drifts in shady areas, and I spread some over the planted pea seeds, then prepped a watering can for tomorrow’s higher temperatures.

watering can stuffed with snow for tomorrows seeds
watering can stuffed with snow for tomorrows seeds

I spotted the praying mantis egg case I’d discovered last fall, and wondered if the little insect instincts were too beginning to stir. I hope I can keep tabs on the case bursting open when it’s alive with mantises! Last year they were spotted often in the garden.

praying mantis egg case
praying mantis egg case

I was also readying for a breathing meditation group I host here every week, and in sheer joy of the day, the room’s altar looked like this:

spring altar
spring altar – giving thanks and trusting in divine timing

In midst of all the day’s gardening, I’d been preparing a soup. I just started attending a monthly Slow Foods of the Western Slope “Tasty Reads” book group, and tonight’s review was for the book Pomegranate Soup, by Marsha Mehren. Along the thematic lines of Chocolat, the book is set in a small modern village in Ireland, and the story revolves around the Babylon Café – run by three Iranian sisters who escaped the war. Recipes precede every chapter, and I made a version of the red lentil soup to bring to the accompanying potluck …. but after the meditation participants left, all I wanted to do was head back out to the garden to take some photos, bask in it’s energy, and write to you. So, I don’t know what everybody brought to the potluck, or what they had to say about the book, and I kind of regret not going, because I probably missed someone else making pomegranate soup (I might have to try it sometime)…. but …. I could relax, breathe easy, and eat a lovely, cumin, turmeric, pepper and cinnamon spiced bowl of my soup out on the patio.

day's end
day’s end

I wish you joy in your spring adventures. Do write and share with me what’s stirring in the heart of your garden….

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yes, I too feel the pull. I’ve cleaned out my flower border and haven’t the heart to pull up my fall vegetables just yet. The broccoli raab has gone to gorgeous flower, just right for the first days of spring.

    1. Laurie – thanks for writing! Where do you live that your broccoli is flowering? Yes – just right for the first days of spring!

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