A personal account by Jill, a FarmStart trainee at the Plot

Mud, glorious mud, that’s how I’ll remember March… We thought we’d had the worst of it with the wettest February ever behind us. However, the weather Gods had their own plan. With this, we headed into the polytunnel to listen to the patter of the rain, whilst we stayed dry, which gave us comfort, a little warmth added to by a flask of tea (or porridge – if that’s what you enjoy).

Then it was the seeds’ turn. There’s something joyful about holding shiny, organic beans in your hands, knowing that only a small amount of nurturing will bring these beans to life. These little seeds have everything they need to feed themselves, and all we need to do is add a little water and some heat – and there we have it, germination!

Speaking of heat, Dionysius’s ‘cooker’ is something to behold! A bed of warm, moist sand teases the seeds into life, and the humidity and warmth encourage them to push through the surface of the soil, seeking light. I check the cooker with anticipation and marvel at how quickly everything is growing.

I run my hands along the trays of only centimetre-high plants, encouraging them to learn that this light touch will not hurt them and will make them more resilient to what’s to come out in the field.

Each of these seeds brings a long history and ancestral learning, which I, no doubt, carry too, but can’t necessarily put into practice anymore. The loss of a solely spoken indigenous understanding of the land. I rely on the seeds more than they know.

With this comes the end of March and with an expectant glimpse to the sky, hopeful for Spring, which I’m not sure has quite sprung yet. Wellies and waterproofs back on, for there is weeding and planting to be done. Wishing for those dry days to come.

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