, Newburyport, MA


April 18, 2014

Putting in the peas

Boys learn how to plant spring's first crop


With bright smiles and filthy hands and jeans, they continued on — filling and pushing the planter, covering the rows, and exploring firsthand what it means to plant the year’s first crop after a long, cold winter. Of course, they goofed off a little, too, which is also the appropriate thing to do after a long and cold winter.

By the end of the afternoon, we had planted 110 pounds of seeds on a little quarter-acre field. As we walked back to the truck, I recalled the days of putting in seeds as a boy. I don’t know how the time has passed so quickly, but suddenly it seems, I am the dad watching boys of my own plant the spring crops. We had a wicked fun time on the farm, doing something a little different and learning more about where our food comes from.


Justin Chase is an avid naturalist who lives in Amesbury and grew up in Newburyport. He is the author of the blog Outdoors, By Cracky! Visit his website at, or contact him via email at

‘Putting in the Seed’

You come to fetch me from my work tonight

When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see

If I can leave off burying the white

Soft petals fallen from the apple tree.

(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,

Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea),

And go along with you ere you lose sight

Of what you came for and become like me,

Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.

How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed

On through the watching for that early birth

When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes

Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

— Robert Frost, 1920

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