Displaying items by tag: food

Sunday, 09 December 2018 10:30

Destined To Flourish

Read in BioAg Journal

Do you remember that feeling, when you were picked last for that activity or game in school, either because you were too short, too tall or the kids just didn’t like you? Or maybe, it never even happened to you, but you knew someone or you witnessed it firsthand. Well, now that you can relate, let me introduce you to Arty. Arty went through a very similar experience, but Arty isn’t the average Joe, simply because Arty, is a Lettuce Seed. I’ll let Arty share his experience with you.


Hi there, I’m Arty and here’s my story of how I knew I was “Destined to flourish.” I grew up with hundreds if not thousands of brothers and sisters in Louisville County and yes, we were all from the same plant. Mom and dad were just really busy, but how did I know I was destined to flourish? Well, I just knew, I just believed that one day I would be able to do what mom and dad did, and have a family of my own. It was on June 5th, 1979 the end of growing season, and it was time for us to be harvested. It was early that Monday morning around 5:00 pm when the owners came and pulled up mom and some other lettuce plants from the earth.

Unfortunately, some of my brothers and sisters didn’t make it, they blew away, while some others and myself managed to hold on. They put us in a bucket and took us to the Harvesting Room which was the 1st stop of our journey. This was the place where we said our goodbyes, my siblings and I had been stripped away from our mom as she was discarded as we were harvested. This indeed was a sad moment, but we knew this time was coming as her purpose had been fulfilled. The next stop was the cleaning room, this was pretty fun, and they did this thing called “Winnowing”, where they use wind to get rid of any excess chaff or dirt that may have been stuck to us. Then we were off to our final destination which was the packaging room, which was my favorite place of the entire process. This room was so amazing, I saw so many other different kinds of seeds: vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. It was like a wonderland of plant diversity, all packaged and ready for their new destination. When we got to our spot, they sorted and handpicked approximately 16 of us and placed us in an envelope, then a label was placed on the outside, the packaging was sealed and they put us in a box with other lettuce varieties and we were often to our new destination called PT’s Garden Store in Callaway St. George. To my surprise, my other siblings weren’t as enthusiastic as I was to be leaving the country, they wanted to stay in Louisville and grow up there. I understood how they were feeling, but because I knew I was destined to flourish, the move didn’t affect me, rather it motivated me even more for the adventures that laid ahead.  


It took us about a week to arrive at PT’s Garden Store and boy was I tired, but yet filled with excitement. They parked the truck and started to unload the boxes. That same week, the store was having a sale on all the lettuce varieties including us, one by one I watched as all the other varieties fly off the shelves, but we stood there, no one picked us. I started to get sad because I felt like no one wanted me, I started to think it was silly of me to believe that I was destined to flourish but all was not lost. On July 10th, 1979, the last day of the Lettuce sale, a teenage girl with glasses walks up to the seed rack scanning the remaining varieties, she pushes past all the other varieties and reaches to the back and picks us up. My heart was racing, the joy that I felt was revived again, and this was the moment I waited for. She paid for us at the checkout and took us home with her. When we arrived, she placed us in the garden shed where all the other seeds were located. Two days later she came back, picked us up and who would be the first to roll out the package? You guessed right, me, Arty! She gathered her equipment and went out back and planted my siblings and me in seed trays, days and weeks passed and I was the first to sprout and outgrow my container. So she took me to well-prepared bed and it was here I received a name, she called me Arty and it was from here I flourished.


Published in Journal Features
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