You learn something new every day. Today, I learned (thanks to reading Garden Notes for Seedy Folks, the blog of the Hudson Valley Seed Library) that Groundhog Day is the mid-point between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox and that the ancient Celts called it “Imbolc”. Who knew? More importantly, the post about Imbolc included the following:
“…according to Eliot Coleman, Imbolc marks the approximate date when the days are long enough to permit plant growth in sun-heated protected spaces.”
Wha-huh?! Seriously? Dude.
I mentioned this to Schnookie around 1:30 or so during our pizza lunch, and by 2:15, this is what the scene on the deck looked like:
That’s right, we’re starting seeds! Lettuce seeds. We weren’t really planning on planting any this year (we’ve only grown it once but it was so hard to keep up with and we get so much from the farm that we never bothered trying it again) but then we got a free pack of mixed lettuces when Schnookie ordered bean innoculant. Lettuce likes to be started early, right? The ancient Celts want us to start something now, right? So why not the lettuce?
We’ve thrown off the tyranny of those annoying seed trays, and instead start all our seeds in leftover plastic trays that our fresh ravioli comes in. I love the feel of starting mix — it’s all fluffy and soft — so it was quite a treat to scoop trowel-fuls of the stuff into the trays.
We’ll put these puppies in the cold frame and see what happens.
Probably nothing will happen, but that’s okay! I know these things take time, and we’ll have onion seedlings going soon enough. But now that the days are getting longer, I really want to have a reason to go into the garden to check on something. Anything! Even if it’s just to see if the ravioli container full of dirt is still there.
And if nothing else, I had an excuse to go outside for a few minutes today. It was surprisingly warm for a cold day (or maybe the excitement of stating seeds made it seem warmer than it was) and the robins were flitting all around. We may be weeks away from having miniature seedlings to monitor, and months away from anything substantial growing, but today made gardening season seem like it’s not never coming back. Sometimes, in the darkest days of December and January, it can be easy to forget that there will be green again.
So keep your fingers crossed that our Imbolc lettuce grows big and strong! Remember, little lettuces, the ancient Celts are counting on you.
[Posted by Pookie]