Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More Signs of Spring

We're getting a snowstorm today. Owain has a snowday and Gwynneth just got a call that her evening class is cancelled. Spring in Vermont is very much a two-steps-forward-one-step-back proposition.

But never mind what the weather is doing outside, inside it is spring.

I have started tomatoes, broccoli, onion, some herbs, and some flowers. I'm going to plant some cabbage and kale when I get the chance.

My makeshift greenhouse is my south facing bedroom window. I have some very bright lights to add supplemental lighting and seed flats. It's a very warm window, so I haven't needed hot mats. The biggest dangers are the marauding kitties who like to snack on green shoots (Uh, you know you guys are carnivores, right?).
Starting seeds this way has been a hit or miss proposition for me for many years. It's much more cost effective than buying plants in the spring and for many plants it is impractical to direct seed them in a climate with this short a growing season.

I have always wanted a nice garden. We're getting there, but the problem has always been that so many other things demand attention. I've got a million projects around here in various stages of being finished. Largely because I learn as I go.

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: I learned none of this growing up. Every skill I have that requires working with my hands, I learned as an adult. Plumbing, woodworking, gardening, animals--all of it. I learned using books, websites, neighbors and trial and error. Sometimes when we hire a professional, I sort of hang around watching what they do and asking questions.

I have this thing about liking to work by myself. The complete opposite to Bryan. I think I always fear that people will judge my work. Like spring in Vermont, my skills are sometimes a back and forth proposition. A lot of it I end up ripping out and doing over, but my mantra is always "It goes easier the second time."

For all of my homesteading stuff, I have to be willing to do it over. I can't get too invested in how much effort I put into something, because then it's just too heartbreaking when I inevitably need to redo things. I suppose there's a certain Zen to it. 

I am convinced that anyone can learn anything, given the time and the right books. I'm certainly a good example--the first thing I ever built was when I was in my thirties.

The snow will stop coming down soon and tomorrow is supposed to be warmer. This is what they call a "sugar snow" because it makes the trees produce more sap. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring by the calender and astronomically, but it'll be another few weeks until the ground is thawed enough to plant anything outside.

In the meantime I'm tending my little seedlings.

1 comment:

Iggy O said...

Good luck! Down in Ol' Virginny, we broke soil for the new garden. It's been a very wet and mild winter. Yet today, our fields look like yours...late snow!