“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”*

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This year’s seed selection from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I highly recommend visiting their site to Request a Catalog
*follow this link for more information on the origins of this quote:  http://jhfearless.com/2014/11/they-tried-to-bury-us-they-didnt-know-we-were-seeds/

Seeds are such a wonderful analogy for so many things in life. In these crazy political times, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and like the actions we take every day don’t matter. As a new mother, I can’t help but worry deeply about the state of the world I’m passing along to my innocent child. It is easy to listen to the news and become paralyzed with fear and anger.  I hear arguments on both sides of every issue seemingly dividing us more each day and setting the stage for an “us vs. them” battle that can only end in a stalemate. Instead of solutions and compromise, we are seeing nothing but fingerprinting and blame. This is especially true with our “leaders” in congress….

I read the following words from Thich Nhat Hanh and they hit a chord with me.

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”

The truth is that every  conversation we have and every choice we make (all of the little seemingly unimportant ones we make on a daily basis) make a huge difference over time. We are planting tiny seeds of intention that will one day grow into great change. We must never underestimate the power of a planted seed.

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Bringing all of this home and back into the garden, choosing to start your own plants from seed is both a rewarding and sometimes daunting task. With each year of experience under my belt, I have found things that work well, and have also experienced many failures that have offered great lessons.

As a chef, taking the extra time to research seed options and find special varieties guarantees that the harvest I sow throughout the year will lead to innovative meals and a bounty of beautiful plates. The work I put in up front makes my job throughout the rest of the year so much easier. My cooking style is simple: I find a few beautiful ingredients at the farmer’s market to compliment my harvest and then accessorize a bit with some artistic pizzazz. Season to perfection and voila!

I repeat, my secret for making delicious, fresh and beautiful food, is to find (or grow) beautiful ingredients “and don’t F@*$ them up.” I’m quoting one of my greatest mentors there and this is truly the greatest piece of cooking wisdom I’ve gained over the years.

So as you gain experience and confidence in the garden, I challenge you to start dabbling with planting seeds.  I will share a step by step guide in a following post to help you out and I am also always happy to answer any questions.  Meanwhile, I recommend choosing a few different types of plants to start with and try a combination of plants that grow best being directly sown into the garden and some that prefer more babying in containers before transplanting the hardy seedlings into the ground. While your at it and throughout the year, go out there and throw some wildflower seeds or bees mix in filler spaces throughout the garden. Not only will the random flowers add color and beauty, but they will also attract the beneficial insects that help with pest management and bump up your harvest.

The following companies are great places to source seeds. You can also visit the Pico farmer’s market in Santa Monica the 3rd Saturday of the Month or the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market on the last Sunday of the month and visit the Master Gardener booth for free seed giveaways! Ask me for more details. 

Row 7 Seeds: https://www.row7seeds.com/collections/seeds

Johnny’s Seeds: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: https://www.rareseeds.com/

Renee’s Garden: https://www.reneesgarden.com/

Cornucopia: http://www.cornucopiaseeds.com/

IMG_2105“May our heart’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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