A Spring in Compression

Maple syrup This year we are squeezing two months into one. It is March 21. Last year, this was the day I gathered sap without wearing snowshoes. We deliberately waited until April 1 to start seeds in the basement. Those dates were a little late for this century, but not out of line.

Today, I went into the woods and cleaned the black flies out of the sap buckets, hoping for one last run next week. So far this year we’ve gotten one fourth the syrup we got last year. That’s early.

We planted tomatoes, peppers and cabbage under lights in the basement. That’s quite early. April first is early, to put the tomatoes and peppers out on Memorial day.

Transplanting lettuceWe planted peas outside last week, and set lettuce plants out yesterday. Tomorrow we’re thinking of planting more seed outside. That’s crazy early. I’ve spent years trying to keep myself from planting carrots on April 15.

Basically, March and April are happening in March. I keep telling myself we could revert to normal any day. Then every day I look at the long-range forecast and see one more day that we won’t. The weather is still running dry though. We started the year with the soil sopping wet, but it won’t last forever. Line up your irrigation.

Winter veggies are horridly expensive. This is the year to grow your own.

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