How's everyone doing? Tough year, eh? Anyone else feel like burning up the last 12 months and starting fresh? It's been particularly tough here, though the winter weather didn't throw anything at us we couldn't handle and we're thankful for that. In early March we lit our burn pile of detritus from the previous year and I think there was something therapeutic in that. BURN covid! BURN lockdowns! BURN holidays spent without family! BURN cancer and hatred and politics and all the ugly news we've endured these last 12 months!
Ah! Now that feels better, doesn't it? It may be that we just passed the one-year-on-the-farm mark or it may just be that it's officially spring now, but this seems more like the start of a new year than the mid-winter holiday did. Because spring means we get a second chance and this year (though maybe this is true every year) the possibilities seem pretty endless. There are the things we didn't manage to do the first time around, the things we didn't think of the first year, the things that the pandemic made difficult or downright impossible, and the things we put off, knowing we couldn't do it all. I imagine everyone is bursting with plans for the year ahead, because that's the magic of spring; it's just so dang optimistic. Everything is possible when it hasn't happened yet.
By mid-March, the melt had begun -- a tug-of-war between the strengthening sun of the day and the clutch of freezing cold at night. Thick banks of snow slowly slid down the rooftops, hanging on unbelievably long, then crashing down dramatically with a thump that declared emphatically, "that's enough of that!"
In our west field across the creek, the snow has almost disappeared, leaving what My Guy noted look like waves of dried grass. It's brown and lifeless, but there are hints of green coming. It'll still be another two months till we are guaranteed frost-free nights, but we're getting ready
The first seedlings are up, some even ready for the move to larger pots. The greenhouse is really heating up, aided by the black tarping we've laid on the ground. This is the start of our "no dig/ no till" beds. The tarping will prevent the grass and weeds from getting a jump start before we can build the raised beds and fill them. It's a process -- there will be more on that later!
And while we wait for the growing season to slowly awake, we are still eating the potatoes, carrots and beets from storage, the dried and smoked tomatoes, kale, zucchini and chard from the deep freeze, and the fresh eggs from our happy flock.
I'm very aware that throughout this country and around the world COVID is once again gaining the upper hand. Like the ice of winter, it's not ready to release it's grip on us and tough times are here once again. But when the sun shines and the tiniest signs of new life appear, I can't help but feel optimistic. Plus we have our vaccine appointments! Better times are ahead -- I'm sure of it.