About 10 days ago I carefully unfolded a piece of my kitchen roll, placed it over a seed tray full of damp compost and scattered some more compost on top. Then I put a plastic cover over it and placed it on a shelf in the little room that houses our central heating boiler.
Today, I took out that tray to discover the first new seedlings pushing through. The kitchen paper was where I had dried my Cherry Tomato seeds during the autumn of last year.
I love seeing the first shoots appearing out of a tray of little more than dirt. The delicate stems pushing their way up as they unfold themselves from the very seed that gave them life are truly an inspiration. I often wonder that such tiny spindly things can bear such beautiful fruit.
There should be a photo here....but, as so often happens, there isn't!!! Tuesday is my "shopping day"" The Kitchen Garden in France is in a fairly rural part of France and, although there are a couple of small villages within a few kilometres, the nearest real town is about 20kms (15 miles)away. Because of this, I try to keep my trips to the shops to a weekly affair and, normally, that is Tuesday. Today was no exception and immediately after breakfast, I set off with my list of several businesses to visit. It was only when I got home again and started to think about this piece that I discovered the batteries in my camera were flat.... and yes, it could be next Tuesday before I replace them.... So that's the photo excuse! and I'm sure you can all imagine a tiny seedling in it's first few days of life!
As I said, I really love seeing the tiny shoots of a new plant appearing out of the compost. I guess it's a kind of pride, a bit like watching your own child taking their first tentative steps. I'm not really sure just how proud I should be though. True, these tomato plants are growing from seed I saved last year from my own tomatoes, also grown from seed I'd saved the year before. In fact, this year is now the fifth year of growing these plants. I have worked a little magic on them over the years and now, they are beautifully acclimatised to the climate in this part of the world. For the past couple of years I have also shared the seeds with friends and neighbours.
But, as I said, I'm not sure how proud I should be.
I guess what I'm getting at is this.... Have you ever thought about it from the point of view of the tomato? I wrote a piece about this a couple of years ago. Follow the link to Who'd Be a Tomato if you'd like to see what I said.
I must say, having reread it, maybe I was a little harsh on myself.... True, mostly those fabulous fruits are being torn away from the mother plant to be eaten, but now, at least, some of them will be saved and for those few, their mission will be accomplished and they will father the next generation of tiny seedlings