Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Desperately Seeking Spring!

Hey, It's Cold Out Here!

Seriously. I believe that I speak for myself and a whole lot of other growers, urban farmers, hobby farmers, gardeners and, I am just guessing, big scale farmers too, when I say:  "Stop it, Mother Nature!. Please!"

It is just not sitting well with me to be stuck inside, with a fire going and our space heater chugging along, a WEEK after the first day of Spring!  As growers, as gardeners/stewards of the land, urban homesteaders - our DNA has been programmed!  We need to be cleaning, bagging, planning, tending, planting, mulching, . . . , but instead we sit, waiting for the "warm up" they tell us is coming.

How many of us needed to get our early and cole crop plantings "in" by St. Pat's Day and now sit with our fingers crossed hoping that they survive this latest punch of snow, ice and frigid temperatures?  How many of us just longed for a little color and so last week put a few pansies into windowboxes and planters only to watch them get hammered by the cold?  And how many of us are watching our delicate little bulbs poking their heads through the dirt and/or our Helibores struggling to hold their heads up?

You know, in the area of the city where our homestead is located, we always joke (and are somewhat serious) about the fact that we are a "sub zone" when it comes to our planting and growing cycles.   When the catalog company says, "you are zone 6" - we know differently.  It's warmer here - it just is.  Much of that is due to the reality of tall buildings, lots of concrete, and many humans in a relatively compact area.  Along with that, our last few winters have been very mild - with hardly any snow, and pretty reasonable temperatures. Many of us believe that we were impacted so much by various garden pests during the past few growing seasons because nothing got killed off over those mild winters.  Last winter, I had little, if any, frozen ground in the gardens.  So, I guess you could say that we've been teased by warm winters only to be toughened up by this past - it is past, right? - brutal one. 

So, I sit inside.  I add more things to my Garden To Do list.  I take one more look through the pile of garden and seed catalogs - although the orders are already in and have been for awhile. I leaf through the gardening magazines that I have picked up - more in the past few weeks, I must say.  Every once in awhile I go to the back door and stare at the Cold Frame and pray that its warm enough underneath those lids - and those moving blankets occasionally piled on top.  Then I look out of the side windows and check on the covered planters where my beans, carrots, and Swiss chard are supposed to be germinating.  Filling the bird feeders finds me getting down to ground level to inspect the tips of those peeking bulbs.  This is not gardening!  This is not growing!  This is voyeurism! 

Today, the sun is shining brightly, the wind is blowing like mad and the temperature is only in the 30's. But I am told better days are coming this week. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking out the windows and looking and dreaming. Hang in there, everyone.  Spring has to come soon, doesn't it?

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