Friday, April 2, 2010

The Barren Wasteland?

Even though our scant snow cover disappeared very early this year and we've been fortunate to have had some really mild weather and warm temps in March and the start of April, spring does not come easy to us in the far north. There are even some curmudgeons around who say we HAVE no spring but go from winter one day into summer the next. (Oh all right, so I might have said that once or twice.)

The garden beds wait patiently to see some activity.

The strawberry patch in the corner of the field garden is still snuggled under a winter blanket of mulch. April is usually not a good-natured month for us and could definitely bring some nights of hard frost.

No, that's not snow you see on the squash patch but rather a sprinkling of litter from the chicken house floor scattered there last fall and waiting to be turned under.

Yesterday morning the pond still had chunks of ice floating on it but this morning it looks clear.

The day yesterday was glorious! As we were working back in the wood cutting area, we both kept shedding one layer of clothing after another. There's no thermometer back there but when I checked our (we think inaccurate) thermometer on the south-facing deck at 2 p.m., it read 90°. (This thermometer is made of slate and we suspect absorbs the heat and, therefore, gives a higher-than-should-be reading. What genius designed that?) At any rate, it had to be close to 80° standing in the sun. And there was a lovely breeze blowing which made it feel soooo good.

We were back down to 44° at 6 o'clock this morning with very gray, overcast skies. The forecast is for rain for the next few days which will delay our efforts to get our second wood shed filled but we very much need the moisture. The forest fire danger has been listed as HIGH for a while now and no one is happy to see that.

Should we get the precipitation predicted, I think the grass will green up and little shoots of flowers and herbs and -- oh yes, weeds -- will start turning our dull-brown landscape into more of a real spring time scene. Bring it on, I say, bring it on!


Jo said...

Lovely raised beds. Have you planted anything yet? Or started any seeds indoors?

Conny said...

I'll be very interested to follow your Spring planting this season. My Minnesota friends always have such nice gardens, nicer than those in Calif. and I wonder how they do all that in such a short span.

Here's to warmer days.

Lilac Cottage Homestead said...

You have a very nice size garden. I would love to have as many raised beds as you do. I only have one large raised bed. I think it is my favorite place to plant. It won't be long before it's time to fill those beds.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jo - Thanks! No, nothing in the beds yet although with the unusually warm weather we've been having I'm really, really tempted to plant out a bed in salad greens and radishes, cover them with a cold frame and see what happens. If I could find a couple of extra hours one of these days, I'd do just that.

We can't really set any started plants out in the garden before June 1st so I don't start seeds until the middle of April. Even peppers and tomatoes get too big and leggy if I start them at the recommended 8 weeks before setting out.

Hi, Conny - Well, we do tend to make the most of our short, short season! And I really do think that too much heat is worse for a garden than the cold we sometimes have to battle here.

I'll be sure to blog about the garden this year as usual.

Hi, Kelly - When we moved here 14 years ago, the whole area that is now garden was a huge graveled parking lot! So initially we had no way of gardening without building the raised beds. I plant them intensively and have very little trouble with weeds so I love mine, too!

Jenyfer Matthews said... I'd love to get my hands dirty and grow some vegetables! I dream of having my own kitchen garden one day (though you've got more than that on your hands!)

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Jen - That is one frustrating thing when the garden is in full bloom . . . I have all this WONDERFUL produce to work with and that's just exactly the time of year when I have the least time to cook. It just ain't fair!

Erin said...

Your day and night temps are identical to ours right now, which is amazing! I still can't get over all those beds, you must be completely consumed by preserving food at the end of the season!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Erin - Although canning/preserving is the goal of planting a garden (along with oodles of fresh-from-the-garden eating, of course), the end of the season does get pretty busy as it seems EVERYTHING is ready to be harvested at once. But you know how that goes because of your own garden! I get kinda overwhelmed with all the "putting by" but it's also so, so rewarding.

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