winter is the season of the seed

November 20. I’m sorting, cleaning, and packing away seed saved from the summer. Here’s what I’ve got: Trombetta squash, still in its beautiful snaky containers. Brazilian broccoli, a.k.a. Piricicaba, on its long stalks, wrapped in a sheet. Black-seeded sorghum, Limelight millet, Japanese bunching onion, Hopi tobacco, Hungarian bread poppy, nettles, Ammi, Cupani sweet pea. And the tomato seeds: Greek Asimina and 3 kinds of cherries – Katinka, Black Cherry, and Sweet Baby Girl.

Outside there’s a storm coming on, gusts of wind and rain blowing gold and orange leaves to the ground, the sky a thick slate so dark I have a light on even as I sit by the south-facing windows. A fire in the woodstove, 38 degrees outside. The times as well as the season are full of endings and big changes, in my small life as well as in the life of the whole planet. I’m often anxious, and sleep can be elusive. Seeds are the promise of a new beginning, and the essential thing to remember about winter. I dance on the bedsheet of broccoli – Cajun music on KMUD – to release the seeds from their dry pods. Then lots of pouring through screens from bucket to bucket. I’m grateful to align with the season this ordinary tedious way, right now, as the rain picks up and the sound on the roof shifts from ping to roar.madroneberry

I make a song of sorts to accompany my work:

The year ends and begins with winter/
The seed is the end and the beginning/
Winter is the season of the seed.