Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's spring in New England.  That means it's freezing outside, although not literally (most nights).  We have started some seeds indoors and they are looking not quite as weak as they have looked in the past.  Although I'm pretty sure that, as it is almost May, our tomato plants are supposed to be more tha three inches tall with only one set of true leaves.  But they look better than they did last year and that's the important part.  We haven't started too much more indoors.  We do have some things growing in the cold frames:  leeks, cabbage, lettuce, spinach.  We have planted some things in the ground already too: peas, kohlrabi, beets, sugar snap peas, snow peas, sorrel, chamomile, borage, and mallow.  We have things coming up, mostly flowers at this point, but also the strawberries look like they'll do well, the tarragon, oregano, chives, thyme, and savory are back.  The garlic is up and that's pretty exciting.

 Cilantro form the cold frame, this has been growing all winter
Blood root, these grow all by themselves in my back "wilderness"
Chives are up!
Leeks in the cold frame
Sugar Snap Pea Shoot
Lettuce coming up in the Cold Frame
Last fall's chard and some volunteer cilantro in the cold frame.
Garlic up!
Blue Bells
May Apple
What has also been exciting is the fact that this year we got to plant seeds into beds that were built last year.  We didn't even have to buy, cut, screw, dig, have loam delivered, or anything like that.  Not to say that that won't be necessary in a few weeks.  The garden I made last year of some native perennials will have to be dug up, transplanted to an area that will also have to be dug up. This area will then have its soil go through a sort of spa treatment over the course of the summer, have a winter cover planted on it and be left to be the vegetable garden for next year.  We have learned not to rush things (sort of).  This is an exciting lesson because we have a tendency to count our chickens before their hatched, buy our chickens before their home is built and order enough seeds to plant a few acres when all we have are four 4x4 foot raised beds. 

We're just excited. And incredibly, unbelievably, remarkably impatient.  I am so impatient for all the experience it takes decades to have that if I were to be magically zoomed there, I would have missed two or three decades of my life.  Like the whole middle.  Obviously this is not what I really want.  I don't actually want to miss my entire life.  But things do seem to drag on so.  However, when I look back, we've only been learning about this sort of thing for three years--this is our third year trying to grow and preserve to live--and we're doing alright.

The other thing that creeps up on me in the spring is the land we have.  Oh the land we have! It is a small patch, located perfectly for our current needs.  But it is small and it is covered in invasive species.  Most notably japansee knotweed and goutweed.  These are tricky ones because there isn't really a way to get them out other than patience (see above) or a back hoe and 50 yards of fill.  There is a creeping marital (ahem) conversation that happens about our locale.  It revolves politely around, money, needs of children, proximity to work, family, and friends, space, and our plans for the future.  This conversation is a fat spider and her web is spun in between a lot of scary and potentially volatile posts. Whenever it is brought up I feel like a helpless fly.  So it doesn't get brought up too often in earnest.  But in the spring, when the land looks promising and it isn't overgrown in all the areas we haven't gotten to yet I feel so hopeful.  But after a short walk around and I see all the plants coming up that will inevitably make it less possible for me to have as many gardens as I'd like, I think, "This place will not be able to do what we want it to do.  And then out loud to my Hubby I say, "This land can totally do what we need it to do, we just need to be patient, you know."  Recently I decided that two small pigs are the answer to my invasive woes.  We'll see how that goes.  That would be a project for next year, since this year I think we ordered like 4,000 chickens or something. 

All in all, it is clear that spring is here and we are better prepared for her arrival than we have been in years previous.  This shows that we do have the ability to learn and apply knowledge.  This was not clear at first so we're thrilled to see this evidence!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! I recently read a quote that seems appropriate here...
    "Your days can seem sooooooooooooo long and slow, but a year flys by"! Spring is such a wonderful and exciting time outside...enjoy!