Monday, February 9, 2009

Give Peas A Chance...

Hello All,
Well, we've decided here to poo-poo winter and grow something green. The boys and I planted our own sugar snap peas on the window sill in some recycled Stonyfield yogurt containers. At the urging of another blogger, Jenna Woginrich, we decided to get spring's arrival here in our home a little sooner. Jenna presented a challenge to get peas growing on windowsills all over America, and since it was a great idea, and hey, just sounded fun, we're in. The boys had an outstanding time playing in the potting soil and planting the seeds. Now, mind you, they are old hat at this since they've been in the garden since they could walk, but it was fun to see their amazement at the fact that not only were they planting when there was still snow on the ground, but also that Mommy was letting them play with dirt in the house. On newspaper of course, but they thought that was great fun.

We've decided to name our peas. Maestro's is called "Leo", Little Red's chose "Henry" and mine is "Matilda". Not earth shatteringly poetic or anything, but we thought it was fun just the same. We even Sharpi-ed their names on the respective containers so we can keep track of whose little plant makes a break for the surface and sunlight first. I'm betting it will be "Henry" since his seeds were scattered and poked totally precariously (Little Red is 4 after all and not all that adept at following examples I've set yet). Sometimes it's the lack of planning that produce the best plants.

Besides being a fun way to spend an hour or so, planting gets your brain in a better state. It is helping me look forward to spring, which this time of year is incredibly necessary. For those of us enduring this long and not always easy winter in New England, I urge you to plant a little pack of your own seeds. Even if you don't like peas (but, WHAT? Who doesn't like sugar snaps, they are like candy on a vine), try something else. Herbs grow really well in pots on the windowsill, and are very useful all year round. You could start a tomato plant or two, which will grow great even on a deck in a pot if you've not got room for a garden. I loved Jenna's urging to just grow something you can eat. Even that little pot of tomatoes smiling in the sun on your deck is food you grew with your own two hands. The food that tastes the best is the food you've grown with your own love, I guarantee it. It's not hard to do at all, takes little tending once the planting is done and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in a salad or on a burger.

It's best to read up on how to grow things in pots. We've planted them in containers that are big enough to give them room to spread their roots, and premoistened the soil before planting the pea seeds. Top this off with a little plastic wrap and once the green starts to show it's smiling self, you can remove the plastic wrap, it's just to keep moisture and heat in. A couple of years ago we did some pumpkin seeds that we had saved from our pumpkin from the fall prior. They were doing so wonderfully until we actually transplanted them outside and the powdery mildew took their little lives. "Devil's Sneeze" is my pet name for that horrid wilt, but I tell you this not to discourage you from planting, but just to encourage you to plant at all. The pumpkin vines looked stunning on the sill climbing all over the place. We even had a ladybug that took up residence on them. You can just see her in the picture above, she's small, near the leaf. She loved those plants and made them her home. We even transplanted HER when we moved them outdoors, she went on to (we hope!) take out some aphids in the garden.

Anyway, just plant something edible. You won't be sorry and you'll feel just a little closer to short sleeved shirts, bike riding and robins bobbing on the lawn. So, go, now, plant something.

Pea shoots and soil fun to you, ~Peacemom

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