Sometimes it feels like we are taking care of a lot of children…trying to provide for them the best conditions for them to thrive.

I thought of this while we transplanted the onions yesterday. Andy put them in with our paper pot transplanting tool (helps us plant 6 times faster than without this tool!). I came along behind him with a hoe to pile up more soil in those areas that needed a little more coverage. I also would bend down and pull out any weeds that were growing in the paperpot cell along with the onions – sometimes pulling out the whole cell and pulling the weed and onions apart from each other before tucking the freed onions into the soil on their own. Onions are hardy and can take this sort of handling.

Farming involves a lot of nurture. We’ve been covering crops in the field to keep them from frost and putting energy into the design and implementation of warm tables for our tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in their unheated greenhouse.

Soon enough, the risk of frost will be gone and the vegetables will be getting closer to peak maturity…and once they are at their peak, almost all thought of keeping them alive becomes a distant memory – they’ve taken on a life of their own, apart from our daily thought and attention (apart from weeding & watering!). If you’ve ever tried to clear a bed of mature kale, by hand, at season’s end, you’ll know how hard it is to end the life of this plant.

I wonder what you are nurturing right now that you hope grows into full maturity and becomes, perhaps, kind of automatic or takes on a life of its own. It could be a new habit or practice (or shedding an old one), children, community, or even cooking with whole foods. May you have patience and perseverance in the joys and struggles of the hands-on nurture phase and reap the rewards of those efforts down the road.

sweet onions

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