Friday, January 29, 2010

The urge to grow

I rejoiced two days ago when I noticed the arugula I planted in a pot in my home office window had sprouted. I’ve been so tired of not having fresh herbs that I decided to get some pots, soil and seeds and try to start herbs in the sunniest window in the house, with the hopes that I might be eating them within the month. Now the chives are peeking up and I can see one tiny thyme plant jumping up ahead of the rest.

What is this urge that some of us have to grow? I suppose it’s sort of like the desire to cook; some people love it and some people would be happy eating from restaurants their entire lives. The difference doesn’t seem to rely on upbringing, as far as my observations go, so perhaps it’s something innate we’re born with or not.

I do think some of us develop an interest in what might have been planted early on but abandoned because we find reasons we should want to do it. Although I liked planting with my dad when I was young, I can’t say it’s something I missed when I lived in New York City for four years. As soon as I left the city, though, for an apartment in Maryland, I planted a rose bush by my patio and buried compost around it. I don’t think it actually survived (I had no idea how to care for it and don’t remember studying the subject) but nonetheless, the urge was there. And when I came to Kentucky and found a place to garden, I dove in enthusiastically, asking everyone else who I spied carrying gardening tools or vegetables for advice.

So now I wait to return to the garden and try to occupy myself with small growing projects indoors. I also planted sprouts last week and have been eating them on sandwiches this week. I find they’re a good sandwich addition when I don’t have fresh lettuce.

The snow is supposed to be coming. Sounds like a weekend for soup and perusing the seed catalogs.

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