Carrot Seeds and Small Buckets

Well, two pounds of carrot seeds sit in our kitchen. According to the Virtual Carrot Museum there are about 288,000 seeds in a pound of carrot seeds. They also tell me that Carrot Seeds will last seven years when stored in a dry place and I have about another half pound of seeds from previous years. So it is safe to say that I can not manage 700,000+ carrot seeds all on my own. I need you.

Please use this form to order your FREE Carrot Seeds. I can’t wait to send them to you.

Nantasket Beach with seaweed

Well this weekend I finally collected seaweed for my garden. On Saturday I gathered seven big black trash bags “of the plenty” form the ocean and piled it onto the garden. In Hull on Saturday it was very warm and the beach was crowded with folk and I got into several conversations about seaweed and gardens. One conversation was with a woman who told me a story of how her grandfather had had a farm in County Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland.  She told me how every year he would take a donkey and cart to the shore to gather seaweed for his farm. At 85 he broke a hip and the doctor told him he had the bones of a 60 year old. I suspect those strong bones and his health came from his farm and that the health giving qualities of the farm came from his land and the land’s health came from the seaweed laid down on the land year after year. 

On Sunday I was back for 13 more bags and the weather turned cold and it was snowing.

In the cold and snow of Sunday I found nearly perfect seaweed. The seaweed was broken up and free of rocks and trash. It had been washed ashore in the Nor’easter at the end of January. It was trapped by some rocks and had been pulverized by two weeks of exposure since then. And while I was late to spread the mulch on the garden it will be okay as this seaweed was amazing.

I loved my Sunday in the snow on the beach as I gathered those 13 bags and thought of the seaweed lesson I taught year after year to the students in the Garden Project. The idea of the lesson is to always put more into the soil than you took out and to use that act as a metaphor for living a life, having friends or a happy classroom.  The principle of always trying to give more than you take is a guide to community and a good life. When the students (Kindergarten, First and Second Graders) and adult volunteers and I would gather seaweed for the school garden from the beach I would tell them that this was the day to make me “suffer.” I told the students that all year I made them work and do things they did not want to do.  I had been asking them to do things like practice their handwriting or sit still and listen to each other, and now was the day to make me carry the heavy trash cans of seaweed to the two pickup trucks and it was time for them to make me “suffer.” The many hands would gather more seaweed than the adults could carry and the beds of the truck would fill before the children tired. I thought of that experience on Sunday in the snow as I again toiled with seaweed flung over my back. In our class we frequently talked about “little buckets.” It is a basic and old concept, “the longest walk begins with a single step,” “many stones build an arch,” “Rome was not built in a day.”  Despite the students being small and only able to carry “little buckets” they could do and did big work.

We have big work to do. What are we going to do to slow climate change? Yes, politics is very important and there are systems at play that structure our lives that make each of us hurt our earth and make us less friendly to our future than we should be. But we can’t just wait for enlightenment and change from others; we need to carry our “little buckets.” This past weekend I finally carried mine and I feel better for having done it. The approximately 800 pounds of seaweed will I hope produce 200 pounds of vegetables from the Hull garden next year and it will help the soil. I hope that home grown food will strengthen my bones just like the farmer from County Kerry had his bones strengthened by his farm. I just hope I never break my hip.

Hope you order the free carrot seeds. I cant wait to send them to you.

Hull Garden with 21 lumps of seaweed ready to be spread

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