Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blessing the sprouting seed -- with work and a bit of prayer

First Day of Spring 2009
Jim Stovall on Vimeo
(Music by Frank Story)

Finally, some quality time in the garden this weekend.

It's been a rainy winter (I have undoubtedly mentioned that before now), and since December the rain and inclement weather has occurred on the weekends more than not. Getting into the garden, or even outside, to do most anything has been frustrating. Even last weekend, the first weekend of our spring break, was rainy and cold.

But we've now had several days of dry weather, and Friday it was good enough to walk across the plowed dirt of the garden without getting bogged down. And that's exactly what I did. I had been anxious to start marking off the rows of the garden and pulling the string, which will keep me straight, and I was able to accomplish much of that on Friday.

Saturday was an all-day writing workshop in Knoxville with friends Cyn Mobley, Katrina Belcher and Bryce Anderson, so there was no garden work there.

But today, it was glorious.


Last year, the first thing that went into the ground was potatoes, and I didn't do that until the last day of March. This year, getting serious about onions gave me the excuse to start a bit earlier.

I planted more than 50 white onion sprouts and near 100 red onions (Row 4) and watered them thoroughly. Digging the ground with the hoe to make the rows and then moving the dirt around to get the sprouts in and standing straight felt awfully good. Onions have the advantage of your being able to see them immediately. You don't have to wait for them to "come up."

So, the garden has begun.

(The pictures on the right were taken today after the work was done. The audio slide show above was done on Friday.)


I decided to finish out Row 4 with some potatoes that I had left over from last year. It may be a bit early to plant them, but I just couldn't help it. The potatoes I put into the ground are of various types, and they all had sprouts on them, so I can see many of them even after I had covered them with dirt.

I am curious to see what will happen with these potatoes. They came from Colorado last year and did very well and then stayed in the basement all winter long. They are somewhat shriveled, which is not preferable for what you want to put in the ground, but there is nothing I could do about them.

If these potatoes do well at all, they should be a little early because they have such long and healthy sprouts. At least, that's what I have read.

More on potatoes later.

The main point is, they're in the ground and doing the Lord's work.

The Lord's work

And speaking of the Lord's work, my friend Chuck Warnock pointed to an interesting site the other day: In-formatio.

The site is the work of Michael Rich, a guy who lives in North Carolina on the other side of the mountains from me, and Michael describes his site as one that is a "space to make ongoing observations about my life of faith in formation. From my perspective, we are always in formation and in the process of being transformed."

On Saturday, Michael included the Blessing of the Sprouting Seed, which comes from The Rural Life Prayerbook (published in 1956) from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. It's beautiful:

Let us pray.

We ask and beg of You, Lord, to bless this sprouting seed. Warm it with the gentle breath of soft winds, make it fruitful with dew from heaven, and be so kind as to bring it to its fullest maturity for the good of our souls and bodies, through Christ our Lord.

And all the people said, Amen.


Anonymous said...

Jim, nice to see the garden going. You have lots of work ahead. We're way behind you, but then ours is much smaller.

Nice use of video, audio, and photos with this post. -Chuck

Jim Stovall said...

Many thanks, Chuck.

Lots of fun this week online and off.