Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Growth

The weather might still be wintry, but a few things are starting to grow. Most years, I already have potatoes, onions, peas, carrots, beets, spinach and all manner of other seeds in the ground, but this year my instincts have told me to hold off, and for once I listened.

It's the same every year. I chomp at the bit to get things planted because I can't wait for the first taste of lettuce, onions and other early crops. Most years it comes off well; we get super-early veggies and a jump on the season. A few years ago, I even planted green beans 6 weeks before the last frost date and the gamble paid off with beans ready by Father's Day, unheard of in our region.

But this year I've been content to wait. Maybe it's because I'm so busy with other projects but that seems unlikely since I'm always busy with projects, and this year is no busier than any other. I think it's just that inner gardener who is telling me it's not time yet. So the gardens remain muddy and unplowed, the seeds safe in their packets.

Except for a few. About 2 weeks ago I convinced Larry to get a lettuce bed ready, and we planted Black-Seeded Simpson lettuce and Cherry Belle radishes. The seeds are already up, protected by a wood and glass frame from the daily sprinkle of snow we seem to be getting this month.

It's heartening to see these wisps of green under the glass. It's enough to keep me content to continue waiting for the weather to settle and the ground to dry.

What else is growing? Those chicks! We have 21 of all different kinds and they are getting their feathers

and testing their flying abilities in their plywood home. And making a lot of dust too. I don't remember the other chicks we've raised being so dusty.

We'll have to just deal with it another two weeks to be sure they're mature enough to be put into a brooder out in the chicken house.  I am liking all the colors in this flock. I can't tell you exactly what kinds we have because unfortunately the feed store guys were unclear themselves. I do know we have some Americaunas, some White Stars, and some Partridge Rocks but other than that, I'm clueless. I was disappointed not to find any of the Silver Spangled or the Barred Rocks, but I think these will be fine.

The older chickens, sadly, will have to go. They've been laying just 2 eggs a day for the past 2 months. I'm patient with them during winter when their laying slacks off but now they should be pouring out eggs. So if they're reading this, they know they better get to work. But more likely is that we'll be giving them away in the next week or so and get the coop ready for this new flock. That means no fresh eggs for several months and that makes me unhappy--but not as unhappy as buying eggs AND laying mash does.

Those of you further south have probably already got your gardens in, and I'd say we're green with envy up here--but so far, we're really still kind of brown.

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


warren said...

I can't wait to turn some ground over and get some more stuff in the ground! Awesome sprouts!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

For me - just thinking of gardens is grand.

Nance said...

I can't plant onions, radish, potatoes until Friday, Good Friday. That's the time table here in Iowa. Those chicks are so darn cute! I have never raised a chick but hope to in the next year or two. we have 3 or 4 of the very earliest bloomers up and blooming -- dwarf crocus. Just yesterday. Temps are warming; spirits are rising : )

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