The tops of our potted vegetables are pecked out by what look like the beak of a mother bird feeding her small one our broccoli. We hear the crying chatter of this small one while the mother dives for nearby greens, or insects to hush her child. Their nest sits atop the patio covering, placing this family in eyes view of the Hummer and her band of friends.
“Wading shore bird searches out insects in pond. Near Mile 0 Alaska Pipeline Route by Dennis Cowals,” U.S. National Archives, 08/1973
The small carrot, broccoli, and beet seeds we’ve potted are sprouting in 2.5 inch plastic pots that incubate by the kitchen light overnight. Once green stems rise from the dirt, we take them outside to fend for themselves in these warm California days. If it gets cold overnight, sometimes we coddle and bring them back in, trying for the first time ever to grow our own food.
“Spirit of ’18. The World Cry FOOD. Keep the home gardening going,” ca. 1917 – ca. 1919, U.S. National Archives, College Park, MD
Although we are far from harvesting and winnowing, we have started a winter garden from seed, hoping that the sprouted indoor fledglings will transplant well once they are strong enough. In the meantime, we continue to care for the small seeds that are finding their way up through the soil in the warmth of our well lit kitchen.
Land army girl winnowing flax at the Drouin flax mill, Drouin, Victoria by Jim Fitzpatrick (1916 – ), National Library of Australia Commons photostream
The basil shown here is grown by a friend in Kentucy whose summer crop is wild. Our small bucket of basil doesn’t yet compare as we have been fending off feral chickens and so succumbed to starting the young seeds indoors before moving them out in tall pots. But neither of these is Holy Basil.
Holy Basil, with it’s second name, Tulsi or Tulasi, is from the Lamiaceae family. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant and used in Ayurveda for its adaptogen qualities — helping headaches, stress, inflammation and more. It has, for centuries not only treated illness, but flavored food and been observed by many as a powerful and healing plantlife.