I find a lot of joy in seeing that this spring, in the face of great challenges, people across the world have been planting gardens. For as long as I’ve been at Eagle’s Nest we have had a garden. It’s taken different forms over the years and has had different sites, but we’ve always found time to dig in the dirt and plant some seeds. There’s a lot of hope and faith that comes with planting tiny seeds and waiting for them to begin to sprout and grow, and a lot of gratification in eating the fruits (or veggies) of our labor.

Inspired by this lovely video from Katie (who worked in the garden at camp a few summers ago) I planted a few Zinnia seeds a week ago. I’ve been watering them daily and keeping an eye out for signs of life. Even though they aren’t showing even a hint of green, I’m already dreaming about having beautiful flowers at some point soon. My little garden project gives me something to be excited about. Check out Katie’s video for detailed instructions on how to plant your own vegetable or flower seeds.

At Eagle’s Nest Cara and a team of Outdoor Academy residents and faculty have been busy planting seeds for our summer crops. Currently Cherokee purple tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, summer and winter squashes, poblano peppers, green zebra tomatoes and assorted flower seeds purchased from Sow True Seeds in Asheville are planted in seed trays and tucked in to our green house until the frost date –May 2nd for Pisgah Forest. After that they’ll be transplanted in the fields – joining cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale beets, peas and carrots – to start soaking up the summer sun.

If you are interested in growing your own garden this summer, Cara has a few tips:

  • Check your area for the predicted last frost date before planting tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers that like warm weather.
  • If you are able, purchase seeds from a local nursery or greenhouse. Their seeds will be suited to your climate and are less likely to be diseased.
  • Be sure to water your plant babies often!
  • Consider starting a compost bin to add extra nutrients to your garden!

If you have the space and ability I hope that you’ll plant a few seeds this spring!

By Paige Lester-Niles