14 March 2009

Signs of Spring

The weather has finally started to turn. As did the clocks last weekend, although that I am not so enamored to. While it is nice to leave work while the sun is still up, I need sun to help me WAKE up each morning.

Today I even opened the windows in my bedroom. The cats crawled into the space like they were trying to ooze out the screens. Anything to end the cooped up feeling that months of cold can do.

So, even this early in March, I saw a lot of people out clearing leaves and debris from their yards. Most of us have a lot more to clear this year with the December ice storm. We have a couple branches that are dug deep into the yard and broken, looking for someone to impale themselves. Better warn the kids since they are outside playing.

I did some clearing myself. Collected the leaves off my garden plot and out of the flower planter. The edges are soft enough to sink my fork and hands in a few inches, but the middle is still frozen. It was good to touch the dirt again, to link my body and soul back to the earth after such a long time indoors.

Seed starting will happen in a couple more weeks. I have my plug trays and grow lights ready to unpack. I would have set them this week, but I am leaving next week to see J. and the baby and feel that my sister will have enough to deal with with my kids and cats and schedule. Don't need to throw in "And make sure that you turn the lights on at 6am and off at 9pm." I can wait two more weeks.

I decided this year to pare down on the seeds I got. I was very excited last year, my first year having a garden of my own. Needless to say a lot went to waste and a lot more didn't get planted due to time, space and summer weather. So I scoured through my piles (literally, piles and piles!) of seed catalogs and went with Baker Creek.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds was half of what I bought last year, and this year I got a very nice color catalog from them and after I made my list, crossed off all the items that would not fit in my garden (pole beans, corn, squash - my garden is 7 ft by 2 ft) then decided to work with what I loved last year: tomatoes and kale. Plus basil and cilantro, and thyme this year so that I can stop complaining that I have none in my cupboard every time a recipe asks for it.

So, the list this year is:

Tomatoes - Green Skin Long Keeper, Orange Banana, Black Brandywine, Henderson's "Pink Ponderosa".
(I wanted to try a variety, but still kept to ones that would be good for canning)

Basil - Genovese
Kale - Dwarf Siberian
Thyme - Common
Cilantro

Baker Creek also sends a free pack - this year's trial is Yellow Star Hot Pepper. I will probably put this in because while I really cannot stand any type of bell pepper, I do like chili and hot peppers.