The propagation house is full. It happened so fast. Not even three weeks ago, there were a couple snow scrapers and brooms, and onion peels still floating around from curing last year, and the house hadn't held baby plants since early summer. (Back when we had to take all the sides off to let air flow, and it was nonetheless too hot in there for life.)
Now it's the only place life will tolerate.
It was our last seeding party with Grassroots volunteers today, and it started with just a few of us. Snow dusted the ground when I arrived, and I wasn't surprised no one was going to show up. Then Rachel and two of her dedicated volunteers came to start the day off, and I too, thinking we had many long hours of seeding ahead of just the four of us. I managed to seed five flats of lettuce mix before more people started trickling in. I transitioned to covering the seed trays (we push the bare soil down in the trays, add seeds, then add more soil and smooth it over), just barely fast enough to keep up with the constant flow of finished trays being delivered. Collards: Hi-Crop. Lettuce: Bon Vivant Mix. Kale: Nero di Toscano. They kept coming and coming as more people arrived and joined in the party on what little bench space remained in the nursery. Eventually the list drew short and people needed other things to do, so a couple folks replaced me as seed-tucker-inners and I broke off to get more projects underway.
Suddenly we were filling and prepping trays for next week's plant sale seeding (though Grassroots volunteers won't join us, we'll still seed a few things the next two weeks for the spring sale), then filling trays for more farm crop seeding, then what-the-hell-let's-harvest-all-the-bok-choy from the overflow nursery house. And it all happened because more new volunteers were dropping in and chomping at the bit to tackle projects. So they did, until the second greenhouse was harvested clean, the debris raked out, and it was time for everyone to call it a day.
That's how it happens! That's how three weeks can creep by, and every day flows from project to project, until the nursery is overflowing and we already need space for more plant trays in the next greenhouse over. There are a few tall stacks of spinach and kale for the plant sale that don't have a home now, until we raze the overflow greenhouse and start building more benches out of old metal milk crates and pallets. Before I catch my breath, that greenhouse will be half full as well, and the sun will shine a little more often, and the plants will need more water as they grow, and I'll get a daily escape to walk ever-so-slowly along the benches with a garden sprayer, keeping an eye all these new, precious lives.