Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Springing Ahead

There’s always that one sure sign that spring is well on it’s way. No, it has nothing to do with a hedgehog, nor robins building nests in the gutters. In the Bacon household, there is only one thing that can herald the arrival of spring. Yes, I’m talking about the seed catalogs.

The first catalog of the season arrived in the mail on Tuesday. Jung’s seed catalog was in the box when I checked it. By dinner time, it was situated on the table so either Wendy or I could glance through it. Within two weeks, there will be four or five more showing up on our doorstep. And each will get the royal treatment of looking through, page by page.

 The arrival of the catalogs gets us thinking about the garden, which means that spring is almost here. We have our typical crops that we plant each year, but every spring we try to take a chance with something we haven’t grown before. This year, the first thing that was mentioned was bok choi. When were a part of the CSA at McCollum Orchards, we were introduced to it, and we liked it. Why not try it?

This year, I think we’ll have to cut back on the amount of peppers we plant. We had so many peppers in September and October that we could not give them away. So many were wasted. It pains me to spend all that time nurturing those plants to produce their vegetables only to have them rot and end up as compost. For some reason, we had a seemingly endless supply of eggplant, too. Previous gardens barely produced any eggplant. Again, we could barely give it all away.

Every growing season we end up letting the garden get away from us. Weeds grew like crazy in the early part of the year. By mid-summer, I spent a few minutes each day to pull some weeds. We kept up on it much better, but there were still huge piles of weeds at the end of the job. We’re pretty good at growing those, too.

Pretty soon, I’ll be pulling out the last, dead plants from the 2016 garden. Once the ground dries a little I’ll till the garden area and work in some all-natural compost. (It won’t take long. We haven’t had enough precipitation for the past couple seasons. It’s too dry.) Even with the early warm temperatures, we won’t plant until some time in May.

It does seem odd that we’re already thinking about the garden at the end of February, beginning of March. Those old, Buffalo winters don’t seem quite as bad as they used to. Of course, now that I’ve said that, we’ll be in for a doozy for St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t blame me. Blame the seed company catalogs.

Craig Bacon is ready for the garden. While he still doesn’t like eating green, he likes being able to grow some food for his family. It is an accomplishment.