I have lived where seasons are not markedly different–and I much prefer life where there is a distinct seasonal change. It’s partly the anticipation of the new and different things that come with each season. Anticipation adds a lot to my life. Living where flowers were almost year-round left me taking them for granted. Winter for me is a period of rest, rejuvenation, regeneration–and anticipation.
Anticipation contributes to enjoying so many things–that special bottle of wine and good food, or just a new season. Planning a special meal to go with a special wine…or those winter dreams of fresh produce while you dwell on the pages of the seed catalogs, knowing that the time will come when you’ll have seeds in your hand, and that those seeds will give you food. That’s anticipation. Winter is passing into spring….
Today I worked with a friend, as I do every spring and summer, getting a start on the luscious things that come from the field and garden. I got my hands into the dirt and transplanted about 300 tomato plants from the itty-bitty plug trays into the three-packs that we’ll use to sell them at the farmers’ market.
We started with an almost bare greenhouse–just a few things that needed some protection to winter over, but were hardy without needing to heat the greenhouse all winter.
The tomato seeds were planted just about ten days ago–in the house, because it was really too soon to get the green house up and going. We planted the seeds in “plug” trays–each tray has lots of little “wells” just a bit bigger than my thumb (288 of them, I think). Once they have germinated and have the first set of true leaves (even though they are very tiny they really do look like leaves on a tomato plant) then it’s time to give them more room to grow. That was today’s work. Tedious, yes!
But, oh, the anticipation of what is to come from those tiny plants. These are Sungold cherry tomatoes from last season–they’re summer candy. Those tiny plants will grow and bear tomatoes during the summer. Today I did transplant some Sungolds, but there were Fried Green, Cabernet, Big Boy, Better Boy, Italian Tree, and Abe Lincoln tomato plants too. Some of these are new for us–we’re trying them out to see how they taste and, of course, how that fare in the North Caroling summers. So we’re anticipating….we’ll have more varieties like John Baer, Valley Girl, Champion, Brandy Boy…and maybe others. It partly depends on how well the seeds germinate. There be more transplanting going on shortly. Then we can anticipate the sore knees, aching backs that comes from planting in the fields. But that will pass, and we’ll be anticipating the sun-warmed, juicy fruit than came from that tiny seed.