Happy Spring Equinox!


SpringSpring is Natur
e’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~Robin Williams

I’ve always loved that quote….even when our party outfits today required a warm jacket and gloves.  Regardless, Spring has indeed arrived.  There were a few signs a week or two ago – crows gathering nesting material, birds singing differently, the horses at the farm shedding  their winter coats,  and the sun feeling warmer on our faces.

To me, spring is a time of marvel and awe.  To watch Nature shed her snowy landscape and coax all the new emerging growth is a miracle I will never grow tired of witnessing.  I am humbled by the progress of a seed in the ground, waiting until the conditions are perfect for it to come out and start it’s new life.  A week ago, I planted some peas inside the greenhouse.  Yesterday, I checked on their progress by uncovering one or two and seeing how they were coming along.  Sure enough, the wizened seed I had put into the ground had plumped up, and was sporting a brand new little shoot.  They still have a few days before they will show above ground, so I gave them a good soaking and left the greenhouse with a grin on my face.

seedlings

Walking up the snow-covered path to the house, I was thinking about all the incredible food that would be growing in the gardens this year.  I am particularly excited about the eggplants I have started from seed. Here they are (at the bottom of the photo), along with some leeks that have just popped up, too.  They might not look like it now, but in a few months’ time, they will look like this:

eggplant

Isn’t that cool?  I mean, a seed that is as small as the period at the end of this sentence will grow into something delicious.  It excites me every year…

Of course, as a gardener and farmer, I have learned that there is no crystal ball that will predict what kind of successes or challenges I will be having this growing season.  Will we have lots of beautiful sunshine to ripen up the tomatoes?  Will it be so droughty that I will have to water everything again almost all summer?  Some things are predictable.  A mild winter, followed by a dry summer often means lots of insects.

But who knows?  And that is part of the fun.  No matter how bad or how good the previous year, each year is a fresh start.  In fact, a running joke among farmers who have had a poor year is, “Oh well, there’s always next year”.  And it’s true.  Each year, we have the opportunity to have another crack at it.  We can tweak some techniques that worked well, or look into ways of improving other things.  I, for one, will be learning more about organic insecticides.  Last year, I learned a harsh lesson when cucumber beetles decimated all my squash, melons, pumpkins and many of my cucumbers.  This year I will be better prepared.

There is still plenty of time to plan your garden.  If you’ve never grown your own food, I guarantee that it will never taste better!  Give it a go and let me know how it works out!

My way of celebrating the first day of Spring was to plant some green multiplier onions in the greenhouse.  As I was walking through the greenhouse, I spotted some green sprouts.  Sure enough, it was a multiplier onion from last year that had started growing again.  I acknowledged the life force that makes this all possible and whispered , “Thank you”.

snoopy

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Carol Kraft on March 21, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I love your sense of awe and excitement for Spring growth and planting. Thanks for the encouragement to try again and not give up! I had a real issue with beetles eating my bok choy and Tatsoi right from the shoots! So curious to know what you do about this. I was told to cover them up from day one with netting. If you have any thoughts on this one.

    Reply

    • Hi Carol! Yes, the little beetles enjoyed my bok choy last year, too. Covering them is pretty much the only option, but you have to do it right from the start. I have some netting that I use. Also, if you plant very early in the house and transplant while it is still cool, or do late summer sowings, you may miss bug “season”. I am trying brussel sprouts for the third time – same bug issue. Maybe this year, we’ll both be successful!

      Reply

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience, I read this post in March, but today I came back to it as your enthusiasm is exactly what I need now my pumpkins are failing through too much heat , I am starting out on growing my own food and I will try to remember that there is always next year when something does not turn out as expected!!!

    Reply

    • Marco, I needed to read it again, too…A few days ago, we had a couple days of ice/snow and heavy rain. My greenhouse was flooded, as all the seedlings are planted into the ground. I was almost heartbroken… Today, however, the sun is shining, the soil has dried, and in another day or so, I will be able to reseed anything that was too stressed by the waterlogged conditions. At least I don’t have to wait until next year! 😉

      Reply

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