Spring is stirring in the earth

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Spring is stirring in the earth. In the traditions of many cultures, spring is a time to “dance the earth awake.”

I love the way that the idea of dancing the earth awake not only suggests that humans notice and celebrate the emergence of spring, but that they are part of the story.

Part of how we do this in our household is through engaging in wonder. We point out the first jonquils. We marvel at their perfume. We watch for the first apricot blossoms. We make note of the extra light every day. We watch for the first spring babes, the baby birds in the nests in our eaves, the new lambs in fresh pasture.

Another very important way that we welcome spring is through our seed stewardship.

During winter I plan out the plant varieties we will be growing for summer. We take note of species, to prevent cross pollination for seed saving for next year.

As spring approaches we open our seed packets one by one and marvel at their promise and plant them out, one by one at their allotted times. We confer with friends and check who is growing what for seed saving that year. We plant out our tomato seeds for the year into trays and place them by our north facing windows.

We plant out our seed potatoes, stored up over winter… but not too close to where our tomatoes are going (because tomatoes and potatoes aren’t friends). We mulch our garlic, preparing for the suppression of spring’s onslaught of grass and weeds. And we watch our goats for signs of pregnancy.

As the risk of frost passes we plant out tomato seedlings. We push our corn seeds into the ground one by one, row upon row. We choose our bean crops for the year and we plant them near the corn.

With every day, as the daylight stretches out just a little further, we catch the scent of jasmine, we watch the ducklings learning to swim. We wait for the little arrows of green to burst through the ground, this one beetroot, this one corn, these beans, this one pumpkin. Each little green burst beckoning us closer and closer to summer. 

Author: Heather Macfarlane

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