Looking Up

March 03 2010

In January, when the last of our low tunnels collapsed under snow, when the turnips and carrots froze hard in the ground and the plastic that had sheltered them shredded in the icy wind, we finally accepted that winter had won and turned our attention from eking the last vegetables out of last year’s plantings to thinking about the summer to come. It’s hard to imagine that it’ll ever arrive. In spots where the wind has scoured away the snow, the grass is matted and bristly like an old brush, the ground hard as cement. The creek in town is a frozen ribbon, static except where the water has cut gashes in the ice, and even there the water looks thick and slow.

Nevertheless, we’ve been filling seed trays and setting them in warm spots in the kitchen and barn. We’re seeding them with plants that take a long time to wake up: celery & leeks, for instance, which would hibernate until August if they were allowed to do so. Next we’ll put in tomatoes and peppers, lettuces and kale. In a month or so, we’ll be setting up a new greenhouse and moving our young seedlings in there like settlers staking their claim against winter, making way for spring.