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Seeing Spring Spring

May 4, 2011
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Monday schedules at my school include an hour of faculty yoga class. Our teacher this semester begins each class by introducing the theme for the class through a short personal allegory. This week’s story was about spring– specifically the difficulty of catching spring in the act of springing. The message was that all change, both in nature and in our bodies, occurs gradually even when it appears to be sudden. As she described her frustration of trying to notice the buds on the trees before the bright green leaves seemed to magically appear, I decided what she needed to do was start a garden. While I like to think that I have always been relatively attentive to buds on trees and other under-appreciated transitional moments (at least for a city-dweller), I have certainly been much more attentive to and amazed by these processes this year.

We did cave and purchase a few plants last weekend (3 strawberry plants and a mint plant), but from the start of this project I was determined to grow most of the plants from seed. I wanted to experience the magic of a tiny, seemingly powerless pellet turning into a plant. I had a basic understanding of the biological reasoning, but as I prepared flats of soil for winter sowing it was hard not to be skeptical that it would work. All I needed to provide was soil and a plastic house? Since I was using this method I didn’t have to provide water or light- nature did that for me. More than a few times my skepticism led me to remind myself that if nothing sprouted, I could always buy plants.

Of course, they did sprout. Not every seed, but a lot of them. And as soon as I saw the first hint of green in one flat I checked nearly every day. Without anything larger for comparison, I began exclaiming at how huge sprouts were when they were barely one centimeter tall.

Yesterday, though, I witnessed by far the most impressive sprouting I’ve seen. We planted Royalty Purple Pod Beans on April 25th. I had been keeping a close eye on them because the package said they needed to be kept well-watered in order to sprout. I saw no signs of growth until yesterday morning. This time, if I’d been looking only for green, I would have missed it. What I saw were hills rising up. By the time I returned in the evening there was a large stem protruding from the soil but the leaves were still in the ground. When I checked on it this morning it had sprung up and already, at one day old (or at least above ground), it was almost an inch tall!

Here is the process in pictures:

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One Comment leave one →
  1. bburstin permalink
    May 5, 2011 7:14 am

    Great job! What time is dinner? Will that one sprout feed us all?? Oh, what about the spinach leaves – why don’t they get a photo op??

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