Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Itching for Spring

The snow is melting steadily but not fast enough for me.  I am ready for Spring!  Yesterday it was cold enough that I could easily walk on top of the snow without breaking through the crust so I dragged my frozen seed potatoes -- all four bushels of them -- out to the compost pile.  When the temp warms enough I'll bring my good floor scrubber up from the basement and wash the wheelchair ramp where the potato juices stained it.  They are frozen to the bushel baskets they are in so I'll have to wait till the weather warms up to retrieve the baskets and clean them out with some bleach.

There are some patches on the driveway where I can see the ground, and that has me itching to plant -- anything!  And because the temps are starting to swing, I'm trying to decide whether or not to tap a couple of maple trees to make us maple syrup for this year. 

Normally I like boiling down the maple sap, but maybe I'll give the forest a rest.  It went through a lot last year what with the tornado and then the clean up logging.  Still, there are three big maples out on the front berm near the road that I could easily tap that I think would give me all the sap I need to make a couple of pints and tapping just those three trees I don't think would hurt anything.  I felt so bad last year when I tapped the 24 trees and then had to dump all the sap because it spoiled before I could boil it down.

I ordered some elderberry bushes, red raspberries, and five cranberry plants from Miller Nurseries.  I still have to get my order out to St. Lawrence Nursery in New York, but I can't make up my mind what I want to buy.  Is it two or four pear trees?  Should I buy more black currants?  And do I want just two more apple trees?  I better make up my mind or before I know it I'll miss the spring ordering deadline.

I did sit down and write out a To Do list.  As soon as the snow melts and the County declares "Mud Season" restrictions on the roads, I will need to get busy.  The first thing I want to do is cut hops poles and clean up the hops section.  For sure I'll post some pictures of that when I'm done.  Fifteen to twenty poles should do it for this year as several of the hops plants can be divided; I just don't know yet how many new plants I can get from the divisions.  Say, did you watch that show about hops on the Green Planet channel the other night?  It was real interesting.  BTW, did you know chickens like eating hops?  I gave them my last bag of dried hops and they devoured them right quick.  Anyway, I figure my To Do list has a full two weeks of long day work and it doesn't even include working on the fence!  It will feel good to work off these winter pounds, that's for sure.

I've cleaned off my seedling table down in the basement and am going through the seeds.  I've found that starting a lot of plants for some reason doesn't save you all that much growing time outside in this climate zone.  Because of that, seed starting will be limited to what I will plant in the garden boxes for the start of the farmers market, and everything for the field will be direct seeded.

That's about it for now.  Take care!

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