While My Garden Sleeps

A surprise spring snow has come to River City burying us in nearly 18 inches of white stuffs, and it’s moments like these that I realize that even though I am ready for my little growing space to wake up, Mother Nature has a very different idea at the moment.

Shockingly this spring my schedule, the gardening bug and my energy level all peaked at the same time this spring and I’ve successfully started and recently transplanted what I hope to be this years crop of Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants.

Pumpkins, melons, spaghetti squash, cucumbers and the obligatory zucchini have all been planted in their little seed trays, and hopefully sprouts that give rise to ropes of vines laden with fruit will soon be seen.

As mentioned in last years post on garden planning it is while it is bitterly cold outside and the wind howls loud and long that it is time to clean and sharpen tools if that work wasn’t done with Autumn’s fall, to inventory and pull seeds for the year’s planting and replenish supplies depleted from last season’s efforts.

This spring has been a wildly warm one with more days in the 60+ temperatures than those at or near freezing. Snow and other forms of precipitation have been noticeably absent this season, and water restrictions for this spring and summer have been announced.

With such a warm spring already in place, it is so terribly challenging to resist the urge to dig into the soil and smell it’s freshness and feel the dirt beneath my nails as the sun burns my skin. It’s at those moments when my ‘Toad list’ reminds me of all I’ve left to do before I can play in the dirt.

Even though it can be a challenge to write down and note all the “shoulda’s, woulda’s and coulda’s” that have been come up during the previous years growing season, and during conversations around ‘oh! wouldn’t it be nice if…’ are cataloged and later drawn upon when the overwhelming urge to dig in too soon strikes.

As I learned from a professor many years ago as a student of horticulture, you don’t want to work the soil too soon, because it is a delicate eco-system and when you are too eager you can cause so much damage that it will take years for the soil and beneficial microbes to recover and become the source of life you were so eager to create.

Nearly every successful farmer and gardener knows this, but it can be so challenging to keep it in mind when the Chinook winds blow through, the sun is bright and high in the sky and the spring flowers are bursting with color.

Today I am thankful for the snow. Not only for the greatly needed moisture that it provides, but also for the ‘pause’ it puts into place creating a moment to relax, look at the beauty and appreciate the silence that comes with it as the inches begin to accumulate.

Soon enough spring will truly be here and the free moments in these longer days will vanish with the snow. I will busily transplant happy seedlings into their spot in the garden, or other niches around the house and watch as they grow and mature, offering their gifts by way of fruits and vegetables and other yummy treats.

But until then, I am enjoying this moment, looking out over the blizzard that has formed and enjoying a cup of coffee before having to tend to chores that never seem to end when there are children in the house.

I am truly blessed.

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