#blogExodus 4: Grow

#blogExodus 5775 topicsSpring is the season of sprouting, of tender new growth stretching toward the sun after dreaming beneath the earth through the darker, colder months. I think we are past the danger of a hard freeze here in the Florida panhandle, and all around us are blossoms and soft new leaves. Also, the weeds we call a lawn are greening right up, so the yard looks more alive than it has in months.

Tobacco Hornworm

Voracious little buggers, and devilishly hard to spot.

An experienced gardener I am not, but I managed to grow some cherry tomatoes and herbs out on the patio last year. There is something deeply satisfying about eating something we picked right outside our own back door, and I look forward to snipping basil and thyme for our cooking throughout the coming spring and summer. We will probably skip the tomatoes this year, as the constant struggle against hungry tobacco hornworms got pretty old last year. The daily search for gigantic freaking caterpillars as long and thick as my finger (I leave it to the reader to guess which finger) that still somehow manage to camouflage themselves almost perfectly in the foliage is something I can cheerfully do without.

Herbs, though, are low-maintenance and give excellent culinary bang for the effort. I was delighted to see that, in spite of a winter’s complete and utter neglect, my pots of spearmint and thyme survived well enough to put out a few tentative shoots for a new season. I may be a suburban modern for whom growing edible plants is a hobby rather than a subsistence necessity, but I still delight in the feeling of connection to the agrarian rhythms to which our forebears shaped their lives.

Sprouting Spearmint

Sprouting spearmint, making me dream of future pitchers of iced tea.


#blogExodus, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the weeks leading up to Passover through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.

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