Mar 27, 2011

Signs of Spring

For 3 weeks I've been intending to write about the arrival of Spring, and it just keeps arriving. The first week-end of full-out gardening while the kids were with Grandma. Pulling a few inches of seaweed off the garlic bed to find 1200 green garlic shoots bravely pushing their way up. The first late dinner because we were building new raised beds until 7:00 twilight. And that glorious day last week when we worked in just a light sweatshirt, finally trading in the wool hat for the good ol' baseball cap.

Entering year 3 of this farmer thing, we're finally feeling confidence. Created a detailed map (using a fantastic online tool from Mother Earth magazine), taking into account crop rotation, companion planting, and our knowledge of which parts of the garden are sunniest, drain best, or have heavy soil. Mixed our own organic fertilizer and potting soil, got seedlings going in the small greenhouse on time. Pruned all the fruit trees and raspberry canes with an understanding of how to shape their growth and allow the sun to penetrate (thanks Uncle Dick for that lesson!)

We're once again expanding the growing area by about 50%, but with a solid belief that we'll stay on top of weeding and harvesting (finally registered with the wwoofer site to host willing farm volunteers). It will be manageable because we'll move with the efficiency and Joy of people who have it in their blood and their heads.

Because that's the true sign of spring. It's not the longer daylight that lets us be out there before breakfast and after kids' bedtime. It's not the robins starting their mating flights while we dig, nor the plum tree about to burst into flower. Spring has sprung in my soul, bursting with desire to be out there with the earth, to have bare hands so dirty that Z asks me to take my brown "gloves" off before hugging him.

As Leroy said in episode 3 of season 1 of Fame, this isn't just what i do anymore, it's who i am.

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