Sunday, March 18, 2012

Glimpses of Spring

These days we are carefully watching all of the developments of Spring.  The Pond is about half full by depth, but not by volume.  Richard and I sometimes sit out around the Pond.  We love being serenaded by the Frogs who have just begun to make themselves at home.  And we love to watch the water rise. 

Yesterday, we took 2 bucketfuls of Echinacea to plant on the downside of the Pond Dam. Upon completion of our little task, we used the buckets for chairs.  That meant that Richard started looking for the Aldo Leopold Bench design that we have used before.  This evening, we sat on one of the hay bales.  Yes, Benches are definitely in our future. 

In the meantime, WeatherUnderground told us yesterday that our areas is projected to have heavy rains these next 2-3 days with possible accumulations of 3-5 inches (and flooding in low lying areas).  The Pond smiled with such prospects and so did we.  That also meant that planting was in high gear.
Friday was a "Fruit Day", so Richard planted Peas.  Today is "Root Day", so he headed straight for the Onion Plants (Walla Wallas, Candy's, Red Flat, and Texas Super Sweet).  Total amount is projected at 700 plants, at least. 

He headed to town today for Seed Potatoes.  In total he planted about 25 pounds (putting another 10 in the refrigerator for fall planting). The varieties were:  Kennebec, Red Norland, Red Lasoda. 

We got the Kennebec's at the Amish Store.  The burlap bag said they were raised in the Red River Valley, which is where we lived for 32 years.  When we first arrived in the Valley in the mid 70's, we actually went out picking potatoes that were left in the field.  We asked if it was OK and the Farmer said "Yes."  So we headed out with our 100 pound burlap bag.  We were simply enchanted with all the potatoes and found ourselves getting further and further away from the car.  Some time later, we found ourselves with a 100 pound bag full of potatoes at some distance from the car.  I like to think that we have learned some things over the years.

Those seed potatoes that Richard bought still had that rich black Valley soil on them on this day and gee, did they make me smile.  It was like a blessing for the planting.
Some of the transplants are beginning to make their 1st excursions outside.  The weather has been perfect so far.  I am careful to put them in protected areas (with filtered sun and minimal wind).  The Coleuses and Geraniums were as pleased as they could be to be outside.  You could almost see them smile.  The Coleuses above are an old variety, which I started from Seed several years ago.  I overwintered some starts in water.  As the winter progressed toward spring, I put the plants in soil.  Assuming all goes well, I am going to have several of these to share.

Flowering fruit trees are beginning to bloom.  The picture below is of the little Superior Plum.   I note from last year's records that the little Plum blossomed on April 15.  Yikes, that is a full month early.  Those of us who grow our own food (and food for others who don't grow their own food) know that early blooming means some fairly tense times, because we could have frost and freeze ahead.  Such things mean that we would have no fruit crop.  That's what happened in 2007.  We went 18 months without fruit.  We are keeping our fingers crossed on this one. 

Once again, we are acutely aware how very dependent we are on the cycles of our Great Mother Earth.  We surely don't want to mess with any of that and do our best to not.

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