first seeds, with a nudge from my village

Dear Readers,

Buoyed by the moral support and wisdom of my fellow farmer Karen, I decided to seed sweet peas, Bachelor’s Buttons, snapdragons, and Gruppenblau salvia. Bachelor’s Buttons and sweet peas are often seeded directly into the ground, as they are sensitive to transplant shock; but if there’s any year in the life of Butterbee Farm to experiment, this is the one, so I’m going for it! I’ll direct seed some of both sweet pea and Bachelor’s Buttons later in the season, and compare the results.

Many growers start seeds under lights, as greenhouse heating is really, really expensive. There are a million ways to do pretty much everything farming-related, and with the help of fellow growers and the great Internet, I decided on one cool white bulb and one warm white bulb for each 4′ shop light fixture. Here is the beauteous grow light fixture in our apartment, with some seedlings directly underneath the fluorescent lights:


My roommate, Kay Fenton, is (a miracle, among other things) totally excited about having this monster of a shelving unit in our common room, which is also my bedroom, a dining room, and a kitchen. The lights need to be on 16 hours a day. I am sitting at the common space table right this minute with the lights bright in the periphery. Go, seeds, go!

And speaking of cheering: thank you to everyone. You have all been so excited and optimistic about this effort, which is entirely collective– Butterbee Farm is the work of a beautiful village made up by YOU. My biggest dream for Butterbee Farm this season: that it will provide a thank-you bouquet of color and sensory delight for every single one of you.

I wish you a whiff of rosemary.

Laura Beth


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