Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jack frost and bluebirds

Winter sure is putting up a fight!
Spring has decided to come s-l-o-w-l-y this year.
 Farming teaches us to roll with the seasons, for we really don't have much of a choice.
 Best we can do is stay warm and cozy inside, and keep ourselves well rested and well nourished, because when the green-growing season finally does get here, we'll need to hit the ground running.
It is quite beautiful though.
Finally the ground thawed enough to dig up our overwintered parsnips.  Boy, are they sweet.  We got lots of volunteer helpers, big hands and small hands, eager to get their hands in the dirt.  It wasn't nearly as muddy as we thought it would be.
We washed some of them up, and had an open farm stand last weekend.  Many folks came out to get these early spring goodies.  Parsnips are really a truly nourishing food, they are one of my "comfort foods".  They have been eaten since Roman times, and are particularly high in potassium, and antioxidants too!  My favorite way to cook them is to cut them up into bite-sized pieces, roll them in olive oil and salt, and roast them until slightly browned in an oven.  Yum.  Also, anything that has been in the ground for that long (almost a year!) has to be nutritious, since it has had a long time to soak up minerals and nutrients from the soil, it's a proven fact.  And the freezing temperatures all winter amplify their sweetness hugely.  Ironic, huh?  But you can almost see their "wintery" nature... I can imagine maybe Jack Frost's fingers...  perhaps winter has its sweet aspects.
 We had a nice warm week to get started on things out in the fields-- Here Ruth and Anna are putting new blades on our tiller, so we can start planting.
My dad put his bluebird boxes back up --  he said that after putting up four of them, he walked over to the first one again, and a bluebird was already sitting on the roof, staking his claim.  It's a fast real estate market for birds this spring I suppose.
And, finally, we get some seeds in the ground!  Sugar snap peas, carrots, beets, and spinach!
Now it seems we might have prayed too hard for rain... we'll see how the recent deluge has affected these seeds.  Did someone hear me say I didn't want to irrigate this year?  Well, I don't want a flood either!  You can never really win when you're betting against nature.  We just take our small victories when we can, count our losses, and move on.  Til next time the soil dries out...

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