We started our seeds this year in two beautiful light boxes designed and built by the innovative farmer with whom I share my life. The boxes are outfitted with full spectrum lights and the doors may be closed to get seeds to sprout, or left slightly ajar for air flow. We also have used the top surface for plants to get natural light in the south facing windows.
Now that the days are warming,
the seedlings spend a few hours on the deck each day, "hardening off,"
in preparation for being planted in the soil,
a process which we will begin in May.
In the meantime, a few crops are already producing in the garden.
We have not yet picked rhubarb, but I can almost smell the first old-fashioned "crumble" coming from the oven as the stalks grow with impressive speed and vigor.
I have nibbled a couple of stalks of asparagus, and will be making Lemon Asparagus Pickles, and asparagus soup, and tossing raw asparagus in salads, any day now. In fact, for a few quick weeks, it will seem like our menu is "All Asparagus, All the Time." And just as we get tired of that, the strawberries will begin to ripen, and the garlic scapes to appear.
Speaking of garlic, the five rows that we planted last fall are thriving. They are approaching a foot tall, as I write this, and are green and strong. A late frost may yellow up the tips of the leaves, as it has in past years, but it should not damage the bulbs which, even now, are developing beneath the straw mulch and the rich soil.
Not only is the garden waking with the fragrant onset of spring,
so too are the honey bees.
There is a wild swarm that took up residence in a vacated hive last year
that we had stacked behind the pole barn.
They are an easy-going crew of workers that mostly ignore the people on the farm.
Not much is blooming yet, so I am glad
that the dandelions began to bloom about the same time the hive awoke.
Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.