So it begins.

When we first started homesteading in Oregon, I left the gardening part to my mother. I was more interested in animal husbandry and farm projects, so it made sense to let her, as the seasoned gardener, take charge of that department.

It soon became clear, however, that a garden of the size we’d planned would be the work of more than one person. With baby Sam in tow, I discovered the delights of getting my hands in the dirt, watching tiny seedlings burgeon into healthy plants, and harvesting baskets full of vegetables to cook and can and preserve.

But for years, the part I found fussy and less than enjoyable was starting seeds. I much preferred direct sowing and putting in the plants themselves, so I let my mother potter about happily in the greenhouse.

Once I had my own garden, though, this arrangement was less practical, and I finally bought a mini greenhouse and resigned myself to the tedious task of poking seed after seed into little pots of soil. Except… it wasn’t tedious! In fact, it was delightful to get my hands in the dirt months earlier than usual, and so satisfying to see the best rows of pots lined up in their trays.

And then, like magic, the first sprouts emerged, and I was hooked! The excitement of seeing new little specks of green every time I entered the greenhouse! Pretty soon I needed a full-size greenhouse, and now I find myself starting far more seeds than I could ever plant in my garden. Fortunately there’s always someone willing to take extra plants, and I’m happy to share.

I don’t have any fancy equipment. I don’t use grow lights or heaters. We keep a compost pile in the greenhouse, which helps to add a little warmth, and any delicate seedlings (like tomatoes and basil) get carted into the house on chilly nights. The greenhouse we built was expensive (and a royal pain to put together), but totally worth it. Even on a rainy day it’s pleasantly warm in there, and makes a welcome retreat for me when I need to get out of the house on these late winter days.

2 thoughts on “So it begins.

  1. carolee

    Seed starting is a magical event every spring. It turns my basement from a gloomy cave into a light-filled, green storeroom of potential! Enjoyed your post. Looks like some good seed choices, too.


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