Eggplant

I had read about vermiculite
Using it as is
To start your seeds
“What’s to lose,” I thought.
My parsley was not growing
In the organic starting mix from the Coast of Maine.
The peppers seeds
Were still dormant or had they died
Beneath the perfect soil?
No sweet talk seemed capable
Of drawing them out
At least not my sweet talk!

So, I poured the vermiculite
Into an abandoned cashew yogurt container,
Wet it down
Spread 10 seeds over the surface
Then finished off with a ¼ inch layer of more vermiculite
I blessed it with a fine mist,
Clicked the cover in place
And placed it on the heat mat.


A few days later,
On a less cold spring day
I carried them outside,
With other promising containers,
To the greenhouse
To absorb the warmth
Of that fine New Hampshire sun.

On their second outing day,
As the yogurt container soaked up the warmth of the greenhouse,
I peeked inside
There were 9 baby plants! 
Tiny green shoots emerged!!!
The first leaves unfurled
 They were beautiful
Each sprout had only the cotyledon leaves—
The embryonic leaves
Atop a delicate green stem

Worried they may need more nutrition
Than the vermiculite and embryonic leaves could provide
Or maybe just excited to move forward
I decided to transplant them!

I separated the babies--
One to each red solo cup
Filled with starter soil
Wet down in preparation
A nice deep divot dug
Ready to embrace the fragile roots

Ever so carefully and breathlessly
I grasped the tiny leaves
Of my first neonate
Pulling steadily, firmly, and gently
I liberated the newborn.
The vermiculite effortlessly released the babe
The white root stalk came forth
With tiny white shoots extending from the main root.
My tiny seed had become
A whole, living plant!

I delicately placed it into its new home,
Patted it reassuringly
Sprinkled another blessing onto the soil
And set it upon the greenhouse shelf
To stretch its roots
Raise each leaf face toward the sun
And accept its welcoming embrace

Nine solo cups
An eggplant copse
Separate but together
So far, surviving their first right of passage!
I screeched with delight!!

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