Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Begins

Yep, that's what the calendar says.  There needs to be a caveat printed under that notation on all calendars hanging in northern Minnesota homes.  

We have had some melting from our most recent snowfall, but there's still plenty of whiteness out there.  Overnight temps are registering in the low 20s.  Two more weeks until I can start the first of my garden seedlings inside under lights.  Spring is coming.  We're just a little slower (okay, maybe a lot) than most other places.


I shouldn't have talked about finishing the top to my new quilt that's been in progress for so long.  I haven't managed to work on it since then. 

I've been doing some touch-up painting in the kitchen.  You can tell by the yellow splotches on my hands.  Papa Pea and I did a little wood working constructing a wooden tray I've been wanting for some time.  Little things are getting done, it's just that a day's time is never long enough.  Never, ever, ever.

Looking ahead to this week, we're trying to decide on the best day for a trip to the big city.  We need to pick up a new garden cart we ordered.  Our old one has served us well, hauling untold tons of various materials and doing service as a make-shift hand truck to move heavy, heavy objects for many years.  The poor old thing has been on its last legs (wheels?) for a couple of years and is now beyond repair so we've come to the point of having to replace it.  We chose to not pay the shipping on this new one but rather to pick it up.  Sure, a trip to the big city is expensive in itself, but any time we go we never fail to come home without the back of the truck filled to the brim . . . with wine from the discount liquor store, if nothing else.  (Truth to tell, it's more likely a bulk box of toilet paper and kleenex and miscellaneous building materials.)

Our supply of food from last year's garden is holding out.  Mostly.  We are almost out of potatoes (didn't get as big a yield as usual) and carrots.  Papa Pea has fed out more to the poultry this winter . . . carrots, beets, cabbage, apples.  Frozen veggies are still plentiful.  I served Brussels sprouts with dinner last night and hubby commented, "Where do you keep finding these Brussels sprouts?  I thought you didn't freeze that many?"  Well, when you rotate serving them with frozen green beans, peas, beets, cauliflower, broccoli and others from the root cellar, I guess they each go a long way.

For our potato crop, for years I've saved and planted the smaller ones from the previous crop.  Haven't purchased new potato sets in I-don't-know-how-long.  But after last year's harvest I decided maybe it was time for some new life to be infused into our potato crop so have on order two new varieties, Red Chieftan and Burbank Russet.

It may still be snowy and cold, but I can't help but be eager to get on with all those outside chores, tasks and new projects.  Spring is in the air . . . or at least in my mind and on the calendar.

22 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

I have planted some of last years potatoes in the poly tunnel, they are coming on well but I did buy in some new ones as well Pink Fir planted those today, I hope your snow clears soon and you get a good re-stocking trip in town :-)

Kev Alviti said...

I've kept back some potatoes from last year as well, black ones but I'm not sure how they'll do as I think the guy that gave them to me had been saving them for years as well!

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Your quilts are so beautiful! Such talent!! Funny how gardeners always seem to be chomping at the bit this time of year LOL

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - Thanks, Dawn. I'm enjoying the afternoon baking cookies (now have it way too hot in here!) and occasionally glancing out the windows watching the snow slowly (very slowly) receding! Yes, spring is on the way.

Mama Pea said...

Kev - You just never know. Those potatoes might turn out to be something spectacular!

Mama Pea said...

FAF - Thank you!

Chomping at the bit now . . . come October, we will be exhausted! For everything there is a season . . . ? :o]

Lisa said...

pretty quilt in progress MamaPea.
Do you think the red potato varieties keep best? I've grown white and yellow but love red as well. Nothing seems to keep very well in my basement. I think it's air circulation.

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Lisa.

Yes, I do think red potatoes keep better than whites or yellows. Hubby also thinks the reds have more nutritional value.

Our potatoes (the ones that are left anyway) are keeping really well in our root cellar where it's stayed around 35-38° all winter. We also lay a damp, but not dripping, old towel over them in their 5-gallon buckets.

Michelle said...

I have cabbage, lettuce , onions,and potatoes growing in our raised beds. A lot of my spices have come back this year. Can't wait to plant the summer stuff.I have some canned veggie left from last year, but we are getting low.

Sue said...

Happy Spring indeed--I put up the weather for today and on Wednesday, they are calling for 8-12 inches of snow. Blech! Good hunkering in weather--which NORMALLY I'd appreciate, but I've had that taste of 40's and I don't want to go back to snow............
WAH!!!!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I'm really hoping that Spring decides to stay for you. A good garden cart is indispensable. Ours takes a beating every year! -Jenn

Laurie said...

I can tell you're getting antsy for spring. Your quilt is looking lovely. And I would love to see the back of your pick-up truck when you return from the big city.

Susan said...

I'm with you, kiddo. The only reason I know it's spring is because it's written on my calendar. You know, if you squint really hard, the spring blossoms and woolly sheep on your header look like snow...just saying.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - How excited you must be to have that much going and growing already! You have a bigger family to feed so I can understand how your supplies from last year might be getting low. Soon you'll have all that fresh green goodness ready for the table though. :o]

Mama Pea said...

Sue - You and me both, kiddo! That taste of "spring" we both had was just a tease though as you well know our spring doesn't very often start in March!

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - We've always had our "big" garden cart and then two smaller ones we picked up at sales, but you really need the big one for most tasks. Hope this new one lasts as long as the first one!

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Ha! We still (a day later) haven't unloaded everything we bought and brought home.

Thanks for the nice words about my quilt. Sure hope it can get it done soon!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Bite your tongue! Snow piles? Please, no more!

Sandra J Updyke said...

Yes, I just used up my last carrots. I have a couple of weeks left of potatoes. I still have a supply of broccoli and cauliflower in the freezer along with some dried tomatoes and dried puffballs. Oh yes, and beans are still frozen. I'm happy to have them. :)

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Sounds like our "stores" from last year's garden are holding out just about the same! I have so many green beans left in the freezer . . . and this is after I cut my row of them in half last year!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I just love.love your quilt hanging up. Even though you still want to do a little more to it, it's just gorgeous. Are you putting this quilt on your bed?
Like you, I really don't buy potatoes. Every year we plant from using our existing potatoes. It's wonderful to have all these fresh vegetables put away for future use. Talk about saving money, and being self reliant.... not shopping at the grocery store for fresh veggies. Life can't be any better.....well maybe it could with less snow :-)

Blessings,
Sandy
P.S. I received your pkg, love the hot pads they match my kitchen :-)
Expect a mail delivery soon :-)

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Thank you!Yes, the quilt is to be a new one for our bed.

Even more than saving money (which it does if we don't count our time and effort, right?), the veggies we grow ourselves have to be fresher than anything we can buy and knowing you can feed yourself to a large degree -- priceless! :o}

Glad your snail mail arrived! I should expect a mail delivery?? Oh, what fun!