Fresh Facts: Raindrops and Somethin Growin While You’re A-Sleepin

By February 13, 2014Newsletter

Volume 7, Week 24, February 7–8, 2014

 


There’s a reason we use the words rain and blessing interchangeably. Rain is an unearned free gift that nourishes and sustains all life on earth. It cleans the air and charges it with negative ions that are more invigorating than Starbucks.

The air we breathe is 78 percent nitrogen. Nitrogen to a plant is like energy to us, but plants (except legumes) can’t get to it. It’s very similar to water; H2O has plenty of pure oxygen which fish can access, but we can’t. Rainfall however picks up nitrogen from the air and makes it available to plants. Rain is a lot more than water; rain is like miracle grow. That’s why when you go to rainy parts of the world everything’s green and lush and you wonder: “Who’s fertilizing all this?” Well, now you know, it’s getting energy with every drop.

We got an inch of it since we last talked which is 8 percent of our normal. That inch might be like the Broncos score in the second half—too little, too late—but hey, we’ve been blessed and we’re grateful. Grown adults were out stomping in mud puddles and joyfully getting soaked.

My great grampa on my mom’s side, back in the holler in Tennessee would say: “Ya gotta have somethin a growin son while you’re a sleepin.” He wasn’t referring to his 401k, he was talking about crops. And regardless whether you live on a farm or in an apartment, we all need somethin a growin while we’re a sleepin.

There’s a miracle of sprouting seeds and thriving vegetables and flowers and dirty hands that’s restorative and therapeutic. Tending and nourishing plants that in turn nourish you; even in a small way, brings a sense of balance. Our frenetic, frenzied, and frantic lives slow down to nature’s pace in a garden.

You’ve never seen a hurried tomato or an anxious squash—and it’s difficult to be so in their company—yet while you was a sleepin…squash appears then effortlessly doubles in size, nightly. The wonder of that will never ever cease to amaze and thrill you, as long as you’ve got a pulse, I promise. And that’s why we’re encouraging everybody to find a place, get it ready, and start dreaming. Seed catalogs are on your tablet or phone and just the browsing is therapeutic.

So why would a guy who makes his living selling produce encourage his customers to grow their own? Because a) your well being—well being is a newsletter all by itself—is way more important to us than selling a box of produce and b) gardeners frankly are our most satisfied and loyal co-producers. It’s like nobody appreciates art like an artist, or music like a musician.

The good news is that while you need some native talent to paint or play, any child can plant some radish seeds in a milk carton and be pulling up salad spice in a few weeks. If an apartment balcony is what you’ve got, you will be AMAZED what you will do with half of it in a square foot or containerized garden. 6 feet by 4 feet is 24 square feet—24 different crops—right out your sliding glass door.

For our part, we started last fall building a library of gardening encouragement on the website and while it’s not yet complete, it’s a helpful start. Happy gardening and…

~Vernon Peterson

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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