“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” – Henry David Thoreau, The Dispersion of Seeds.
Warm weather, last weekend’s replenishing rain, and days getting noticeably longer awaken the familiar urgency of Spring. Most of the seeds for the upcoming season’s crops have arrived, and we are once again busy sowing directly into field prepared beds as well as into seedling trays in the more protected greenhouse environment.
Sowing seeds is an act of faith, and few things are more rewarding than experiencing the life cycle from seed to harvest. As a farmer I see them, of course, as the source of future plants and food, yet they each also contain a fascinating story of culture and history. Each seed encoded with its DNA tells a long, winding, and subtle story. It includes the history of how seeds have crossed human hands, how they have been cultivated, selected, and traded, often shaping the destiny of human civilization and cultures across the world.
For example, our popular dry-farmed Early Girl Tomatoes, sown in mid- January and growing well, trace their ancestry all the way back to wilder relatives in the highlands of Peru where Incas used them for cooking and religious ceremonies. With the Spanish conquistadors tomato seeds got dispersed through the colonies all over the world, and the Early Girl Tomato was bred in France in the 1970’s. When they arrived in the United States they became an instant hit. For us, the Early Girls are the variety of choice since they are one of the very few varieties, if not the only one, that can be dry-farmed; meaning the plants grow on little or no added irrigated water, which gives them their unique, rich, sweet and tangy flavor.
Every vegetable and fruit you get in your CSA share has a story to tell. We all participate in shaping the story of these crops. They become part of our lives as we grow, cook, and eat them. By choosing to eat with the seasons we tune into the story of food grown locally, the history of the land, and the living community we are a part of. It always amazes me to think that the food we enjoy is a gift that manifests through the living stories contained in each tiny seed we plant.
In the spirit of this “earth awakening” Spring weather I invite you to join us to celebrate Live Earth Farm’s still unfolding story now entering it’s 20th Growing Season. Throughout 2015 we will again host many fun-filled farm events and U-Pick days. The first one to kick-off our Spring Season is the Sheep to Shawl Fair on March 21 (Spring Equinox), so mark your calendars and I hope to see you here on the farm soon.