Monday, February 6, 2012
Which Came First?
The Broccoli rabe or the egg? The definitive answer to this age old question is finally in and it looks like we're gonna have to give it up to the egg.
So it's one thing to sow seeds in an old egg carton, but now Joe's sowing in egg shells? Seriously? They remind me of wee terrariums missing their covers, but if I know Joe, though he may be an artist, there's a practical method behind his gardening madness. I'm just not sure whether he thinks it's going to be easier to slide the seedlings out of the eggshells rather than the carton or if he's thinking that he might then also crush the shells to ward off potential insect predators who might not want to slither over the broken shards, therefore protecting his seedlings. Not to mention that the eggshells will also eventually be broken down in the soil, releasing calcium and potassium among other things useful to plants. (Joe's always a step ahead of me. Here I am just thinking about getting a cold frame going because of this warm winter and already he's moving his recently sown seeds to the window sill, a pitstop on the way to his coldframe.)
Is there a lesson here? I think there is, but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with DIY craftiness or eggshells. I think it has more to do with the idea of having a willingness to experiment in the garden and also with having a willingness to celebrate the unexpected small pleasures that are always a part of the process. If you really want to get the most out of being a gardener, cultivating your sense of wonder is at least as important as sowing seeds.
Lest you think that having a sense of wonder is a frivolous idea, here are the words of one with a much bigger mind who went before me:
"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength." - Rachel Carlson, A Sense of Wonder