true calling: the ever loving wintah garden
About this time last year, I already had seeds germinating in my Illinois wonder bed/cold frame. The Big Fish and I only recently constructed one here in Maine as well. Even though we have had warmer than normal days for New England, alas- there is no way the ground is ready for seeds. I took soil temps yesterday, here and there and the warmest spot registered a mere 38 degrees, which in all truthfulness- was warmer than I expected. The frosty panes of glass set up on hay bales this year have a thin sheet of ice from the condensation the day before- I checked them out at about 8:30 this AM and found the sun slowly melting the cold and warming the insides. Once those soil temps reach a solid 40 degrees, I'll plant the lettuce and radish seeds. Along with a bottle of wine, Ken and I have decided to make this an annual ritual as we had so much fun doing it last year together. I really thought I could coax germination sooner with high hopes and dreams of produce by Easter- but here in Maine, one must refrain from imagination and look reality solidly in the face, declaring the sun, earth and winter's way victorious. AAARRGGHHH!!
I've looked back over my posts from last year and found spring's tonic bubbling over and out of the solid earth about three weeks prior to this date. I yearn to garden, this I am able and willing to commit to. All else has been a bit bumpy-my comfort zone is a small window of walking in the woods every chance I get. Other than that- I am a bit scattered. We have decided to tear Ken's old greenhouse to bits and start over with stabilizing it, replacing old wood and plastic and gettting that thing going. I've never had a greenhouse/hoophouse other than my homemade structures- I am excited about growing under the cover of that warming framework. It will all work out, I know. But I can't help but feel the longing for my springtime home in Illinois. The plants in the hundreds I left behind- I have only cried twice since the move. Once in speaking to my Emma on the phone Christmas eve (she started it!) and recently when I thought of the perennials I thought best to leave behind as their relocation might find them surviving but certainly no guarantee of them thriving in new soil in a completely different growing season. With the move in November as well, I felt it best to leave old roots alone, not taking a chance of dogs and rhubarb diggings mingling together in the camper of the pickup. I do plan on composing for the new owners a map of all the perennials around every corner, against the foundation and all the herbs and flowers surrounding the summer kitchen as well as the raised herb beds out by the chicken coop. I can still recall every plant there as if they were fingers on my hand. Funny the things we leave behind we never miss after all, and then there are those "things" that we never forget. My wish would be that some friendly farmer types around here might aid me in finding cuttings, or sharing some of their perennials by bartering with them. I am open to weeding and whatever it takes to get my hands on some new plants. I've put the word out...thus far, no takers. But I do believe these folks are more patient than I, they know when to get excited, when to realize spring is really showing winter a thing or two. In my southernly facing window- it has. Thyme and tomatoes, oregano and pansies are bursting forth- and soon my wintah garden hot house will be ready...but not soon enough for me.