Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sign Language

Around here, St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is the day to plant potatoes.  That was not to be this year because we had so much rain.  So, two days late,  I planted Kennebecs, Pontiacs, Yukon Golds, Blues, Russets and Cobblers.  Sounds traditional, I know.  I failed to order fingerlings and can't find them locally, which is just as well because my spring garden is pretty packed.

Two days in the 70s took my greenhouse up to 110.  Fortunately, I remembered to open the "windows," so temps promptly fell into the 80s.  I felt for the brassicas.  They couldn't have delighted in the high degrees, so today I freed all but 14 of them.  Finding space for them -- broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage -- was a challenge, since I must save room for the early summer things in May, such as green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.  For fun, I stuck a few cauliflowers in the bare spots of a winter wheat garden.  I wonder what cauliflower bread tastes like.  If anyone nearby wants any of the suffering 14, come and get 'em.

Neighbors Kenny and Karen stopped by and accepted a tour of the greenhouse and gardens.  Kenny said his father always called Mrs. Watkins down in the valley to find out when to plant because she knew the signs -- the moon, the stars.  She's still there.  I should call her.  That reminds me of a doctor we met who said folks out our way do "crazy" things, such as plant by the signs.  She also said ambulances don't go to our part of the county, although it seems as though we hear sirens every other day as lights flash past our farm.

"Who should we believe?" asks Virginia.

Who indeed?  Most of the peas are up, onions have started poking through, spinach and lettuce are progressing nicely, and today the fava beans popped up.  I'm still waiting for the parsnips and beets.  Reminders of last year are thriving, including garlic, onions, parsnips, kale, arugula, fruit tree blossoms, and of course, strawberries.  Any day now, we might find one of the earliest of delicacies on our table -- asparagus.

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