Spring is here. No really. I think this time it’s going to stay.
Not like all those other times we had our hopes dashed. Don’t even talk to me about April when the most snow we saw all season fell. Of course, we had taken the snow blower off the tractor.
As the snow piled up, I watched all of my precious crop planning get backed up further and further. The temperatures stayed too cold to work in the unheated green house. And it continued to snow.
But , darn it, I kept up with my seeding schedule. The plants just kept growing. Then I ran out of space. Well, lights actually.
We are off-grid, or we could have just slapped up a few more sets of lights, no problem. But when you are trying to balance power availability with power needs, things get a bit tricky. You have to be creative. And you have to adjust your planting schedule.
Looking at this picture of our fresh tomatoes almost hurts at this time of year.
It is February, and outside the wind is whipping the trees mercilessly. The second thaw of the winter has reduced the snow pack, but it’s going to be a long time until these beauties are on my plate again.
I’m doing what I can to set the stage for their return.
Almost with mouth watering, I’m planning this year’s tomato selections. The seed catalogues are arrayed around me on the desk as I create my short list.
Deciding for or against a variety is based on several observations over the season. Then, the task every autumn is to review how each tomato variety performed overall. This is crucial, because right now, there needs to be a balance between the dreams espoused by those glossy seed catalogues and reality.
Back to my plate, today.
There is a little good news stored in the freezer. While the tomato production this autumn was outpacing market sales and our own consumption, I took the time to put up some of the goodness for a time such as this.
I used our last homegrown carrots last weekend. They were purple carrots–a variety called Starburst–that I dug out of the garden in January. I put them into a curry that got slammed into the oven so I could get back to transplanting Swiss chard. Hours later, those carrots were still pretty tasty, as was the curry.
Seasonal eating has been on trend for a while now. It’s something we are encouraged to explore to benefit our health, and the health of the planet. Growing most of our own vegetables here means we’ve really embraced seasonal eating. Maybe we are embracing it just a little too much, according to certain family members.