I am not sorry to see this weird weather month end. The temperatures have been up and down. Everybody wants to get out and take a chance on planting, but then you have a day like today where there is freezing rain mixed with snow. All the snow we had melted in about three days and it has been mostly windy and warm, but the ground is still cold and frozen just beneath the surface. I'm glad I did not try making maple syrup this year; I think this may have been a bad year for it. I am waiting for bug season to come upon us with a vengeance and have already seen my first mosquito. Ugh!
Tom has been building the tables for the greenhouse. They look really nice. This picture was taken before he had them all finished. I am keeping the hot peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants down in the basement for now, but the cool weather veggies in their flats are going straight out into the greenhouse.
I took a stroll out in the forest garden and was very glad to see that the thymes, lovage, and several of the other herbs survived and are already starting to green up. The fruit trees are still dormant though I can see that something has been chewing on them so it will be a while yet before I can say how they are faring.
The garlic is starting to pop up in one of the garden boxes, and the rhubarb, horseradish, walking onions, and sorrel are off to a flying start. I turned the soil over in the other two boxes and will wait for the soil to warm up before direct planting any lettuces, beets, radishes, and spring carrots.
I have been steadily working on my pole piles. Here's one of them:
It's slow going just using my handsaws, but I really like using them. I bought a Japanese crosscut saw and that is the best handsaw I've ever used. I thought I would not like the handle on it, but it is really a very comfortable tool to use and the handle is just fine. I also have a Western saw that I like to use, but I actually prefer using the Japanese saw; it cuts through wood as if it was butter. I like thinning out the trees and knowing that the poles will come to good use. The birds sit up in the surrounding trees twittering and watching you work, something they don't do when you use power saws. The bigger poles will go out to the field for hops poles, and the others are for trellises and fencing. I saw a badger running underneath a pile of balsams that the loggers left down by the West marsh (where I planted the cranberries last year) so I will leave that pile alone. I am not going to begrudge a badger anything!
Inside chores abound and April's calendar of various appointments is filling up fast so this busy year is rolling right along. The wild animals are busy, too. I've seen plenty of turkeys and deer in the yard already, sand hill cranes and bald eagles flying high, and another fox and wolf passing through, bold as can be.
For a look at this year's weather forecast, scroll down the March 20th entry on Theodore White's Global Astrology blog. I like his blog even though I don't necessarily agree with some of his views.
Talk to you soon!