ysabetwordsmith: (paladins)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the May 19, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] helgatwb. It also fills the "laughter" square in my 5-2-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot. It belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.


"Sprouts"


Larn finished plowing the last row of
the big family garden beside the farmhouse.
"Unhitch Apricot and put him out to browse
over there," he said to Rakel, pointing to a patch
of overgrown brush and grass where the mule
could eat to his heart's content.

"All right," the girl said, patting
Apricot's soft nose before
she started on the buckles.

Dalka came out of the house then,
with her baby Von bundled in a sling
under her breasts, and her back bulging
with bags of seed potatoes and onion sets.

Mika, Tino, and Parelli trooped behind her,
girl-boy-girl like a tiny caravan holding onto
the drawstrings of her skirt, each one
carrying a bag of seeds or seedlings.

The sprouts were done up in pots
woven from cattail leaves or willow twigs
that could be planted right in the ground
so the roots could grow through without
shocking them by knocking them
out of a clay pot.

"Everyone gather around," Larn said.
"We're going to tuck in the seeds for
a nice dirt nap, and when they wake up,
they'll be vegetables we can eat."

The children giggled.
"Silly!" piped Parelli.

It was, a bit, but if it got them
to do the gardening without a tantrum,
Larn was more than willing to look silly.
His heart squeezed as he remembered
their parents teaching him and Ari
to garden the same way.

"Now, Apricot and I already
made the bed nice," said Larn.
"What I need you to do is lay down
the seeds one at a time and cover them."

He gave the onion sets to Parelli, since they
were the easiest for little fingers to handle.
The pea and beet seeds went to Tino and Mika,
leaving the fiddly ones like carrots or radishes for Larn.

Dalka showed Rakel how to plant the fragile sprouts
of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

When Larn finished with the small seeds,
he opened the big bag of potatoes and
doled out some to everyone.

Then Dalka told a funny story about
making a quilt out of earth that soon
had all the little ones laughing.

Gods, it felt good to hear a joyful noise again.

* * *

Notes:

Baskets can be made from many materials. These instructions talk about paper, but adapt well to more natural materials such as cattail or willow, suitable for making transplant pots.



Gardening is an effective way to produce your own food. Onions are grown from sets, and potatoes from seed potatoes. Most vegetables are grown from seed, so you'll need to recognize them both as seeds and as plants. Here is a typical planting schedule for temperate gardens.
 

silly

Date: 2017-10-02 01:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
But effective and they seem to be picking up this child raising thing nicely

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-02 04:48 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
This is very nice, and the bit about cattail baskets is going to be useful; we have them on our property.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-10-02 07:47 pm (UTC)
mama_kestrel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mama_kestrel
The catch with willow baskets is that you're also likely to get willows from the twigs used to weave the baskets. :P

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