Today is March 4th. It is not a special day by my calendar, but it is a day further away from winter- and a day closer to spring. The weather is not one of those glorious top 10’s, rather it is a little overcast outside and I can hear the wind steadily working it’s way through the still bare trees. Today, if there were moisture in the air, it would rain instead of snow. Prime-time for catching the contagious Spring Fever.
I’ve been traveling the last week, arriving home last night a day late due to a cancelled flight, with a pretty heavy headache. I love traveling and am fortunate to get to do it often enough, but at the end of the week home is the best place there is- headache or not! I’m giving myself a bit of break today to try to unravel the tightly-wound wires in my head and to listen to the wind.
While I was gone last week the mail-order seeds I sent for arrived. I spread them out on the table this afternoon and began to envision the bounty these little packets have in store for my family and I. My husband is an amazing cook and I try do my part by complementing it with fresh produce, warm from the garden.
In addition to the usual suspects, this year I am going to add Sara’s Galapagos tomatoes, tiny amazing treats we discovered at the Farmer’s Market last year. I’m also going to give a try to growing some cucumbers just the right size to pickle and put up for the winter. I tried this some years ago, and they provided a feast to a gang of happy, hungry cucumber beetles!
Padron peppers are also on my docket. If you haven’t tried Padrons yet, I highly recommend them! My husband and I first found these in a Tapas bar in New York City. Harvest them when they are just a couple of inches long, sauté them quickly over high heat, and sprinkle them with some salt. Delicious! About every tenth Padron has a surprising burst of heat and my kids make a game out of finding it.
The space in my small 10 x 20 garden is somewhat limited, and the beautiful and ever growing trees in the backyard mean finding enough sunlight can be a challenge. Last fall my husband had an arborist lop off a large branch that greatly impeded the sun from finding my garden. We are anxious to see if it helps. Last year I also decided to get creative with other spaces in the yard, beginning by tucking some strawberries into my butterfly garden. Having mustered up that courage, I put some Asparagus ferns near the back corner and then rounded it out with a Rhubarb plant at the edge. I can’t wait to see what presents itself this year.
Stepping outside this morning I noticed the crocus’ and daffodils starting to push up through the dirt under the oak tree. It won’t be long now.