Monday, March 3, 2014

Rainy Day Tasks

After the storm.

We got a good soaking of rain this last week -- four days of it -- and we're now in the post-rain fog that always seems to come up until the ground dries out a bit.  Right now it's too wet to dig in the ground, so I am left with attending to other tasks.

But as astronomers have books for cloudy nights, surely farmers have tasks for rainy days.

I'm lucky that since spring is here, it's a great time to start this summer's seedlings.  Today I will begin with some spinach and lettuce, and move on to tomatoes later this week. I love to freeze spinach for casseroles, dips and lasagnas, and since last year's crop was destroyed by roly polys and I had to use wild mustard greens in spinach's place, this year I'm determined to get a good, healthy crop into the ground. Which probably means putting them in as transplants, when they're too large for the roly polys to destroy.

 Since I'm going to adhere to the local admonition not to plant my transplanted tomatoes before Mother's Day, my Mortgage Lifters and Brandywines will, likewise, have plenty of time to sprout and get sturdy between now and then in the protected comfort of our solarium.

I can't believe I just said, "in my solarium."  We didn't put it in, people.  It was the lady before us.  And what she used as a lounge area/art studio, we use to store Mason jars, dry fruits and grow seedlings.  Guess we've hillbillied it up a bit, but sometimes usefulness trumps aesthetics.

And as if the news couldn't get any brighter, Wednesday is when Farm Supply gets in a new batch of Bared Rock and Americauna chicks, so we' should be positively springing forth with new life by week's end.

It's funny, no matter how long and how hot summer is, once February is done, I feel done with winter and ready for the inevitable punishment summer usually turns out to be.  I'm sure many of you with harsher winters feel the same way.  I will certainly not turn down any rain we can get at this point, but fast-moving, water-dumping spring rains, not freezing winter storms is what I'm hoping for.


  1. So so glad you got all that rain! How exciting to have baby seedlings and baby chicks on the way! At this point I don't think spring will arrive until May.

    1. Really? Does spring come that late there? Our fruit trees are already blossoming, and my winter lettuce has bolted. You have a right to complain about that long a length of cold weather, to be sure. I'm not sure I could handle that short of a growing season. I guess there are always cold frames and hoop houses, but those don't help your morale when you're sick of winter.

    2. Haha no I am being dramatic. Hopefully. It varies wildly year to year. Two years ago at this time I had herbs in the ground and just about everything was budding. But May is the first month that we can bank on. March and April are a roll of the dice. Interestingly our frost-free date is also May 15. There is a lot of talk that the high percentage of ice cover over the Great Lakes is responsible for our persistent cold this winter. Autumn ended abruptly and we had our first snowfall before Thanksgiving which is very unusual. It hasn't warned up since so the Great Lakes have had about 40+ bonus days of ice building. At this point I could move to South Carolina and still grow my precious peonies and lilacs since it was cold enough there this year as well!

    3. Yes, I was trying to think of a place which still had something of a four seasons climate, without the stinging winter....South Carolina would be perfect! I suppose with climate change every place is up for grabs as far as future climate...who knows, maybe Alaska will become quite temperate and lovely in a few decades, while CA burns to a crisp!