Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is spring coming?

This week was incredibly warm. After so many weeks of bitter cold weather, it was a joy to be outside again - even if the spring-like weather means lots of mud!

I had to keep reminding myself that this is only February and 60 degree weather would probably not last. In fact, today is blustery and cold again.

But we did enjoy it while it lasted, and it gave us encouragement that winter would not be forever. Here is some random photos from the week.

I have no idea what I'm doing in pruning grapes, but on Monday I was looking for an excuse to do anything outside. There is a strange satisfaction at turning the brambly mess into a tidy vine.

This is where I started.


And this is the finished product, a mere shadow of the original vine, but hopefully now able to be more productive.

And, of course, I can't ever prune without thinking of God's pruning in my life in order that I may bear fruit.


The seedlings on the window sill are up and growing well. I don't have a good place to start seeds, but I can't help trying a few every spring. Maybe it is from my years of working at a greenhouse, I just have to get seeds in the ground in February. I start seeds in small containers, cover with plastic wrap for a greenhouse effect and place on the top of my refrigerator to germinate. The refrigerator is the warmest place in my house.

After the seeds appear, I remove the plastic wrap and place the plants in my basement window. Our basement is basically unheated so I only grow cold weather crops like lettuce and broccoli. I know I can never grow hot weather lovers like tomatoes with the little heat and sunlight in my basement. Plus I will be able to move the cold weather crops to the garden as soon as the ground can be worked, protected with a row cover. By then I'll want to be outside anyway and not nursing plants on the window sill.


I tried chitting onions this year with the encouragement of Quinn. I've never grown onions from seed but I was impressed with the huge variety I could grow from seed so I'm making an attempt.

If you are interested in seed starting, check out Seed Starting 101 at Choit's Run. Lots of good info - and great photos!


The only thing growing in our garden is a few garlic sprouts from garlic planted in the fall.


The lettuce in the cold frame/hoop house is starting to regrow. I'm surprised that after freezing and turning to mush, the roots pushed out fresh leaves as soon as the weather warmed.


On Thursday, we just had to take the time for a picnic at one of our favorite parks.


There was still a little snow under the trees but the sunshine was warm and the children asked if they could go barefooted! I was mean enough to say "no" but that would have saved their shoes from the mud!


I'm a little sad to see the end of the quiet days of winter. There are many unfinished projects that I should have accomplished this winter. But I don't regret just enjoying the slow days, spending time just reading, doing messy craft projects with the children and just "being" instead of rushing around in the "doing" all the time.


Now that spring is approaching and the busy days loom large, I fight the urge to start hyperventilating. I love the busy productivity of summer. I hate the frantic busyness of summer. I don't want to blink and miss the fun of spring and summer because I'm too distracted with work to notice.

12 comments :

  1. Saw the first robin and finch of the spring in our birdbath this morning. Spring must be on the way! ~Liz

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  2. Up here in Canada and we had a real warm spell yesterday, but today back into the wind and cold weather. But I too taste spring. AS I write Dearest is outside digging out the maple syrup supplies. I was thinking in bed last night how from now until November life gets a little crazy!

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  3. I just came in for earmuffs it's so cold out here (found an awake baby so I'm putting her back to sleep). The sun is deceptively brilliant.

    I had your email address up today to see how your onions were coming along- they look real good. I'm having issues with mine b/c our light source was from the side so from leaning back and forth as I turned them, they were getting tangled. Live & learn, the light was moved overhead.

    Our basement is chilly too, but I've managed to grow tomatoes for 2 years from seed there with just a florescent light. I put a brooder lamp on them the first year for heat (and red light), and I didn't think they fared any worse last year without it. Just thought I'd encourage you to give it a try.

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  4. Oh, thank you! I have not been back to your blog in awhile because I couldn't see it. Now I can! And I missed it. I love all your recipes. I have tried some of your bread recipes. I am so glad I can see the words now. Thanks!

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  5. We are actually planting garden today. We got broccoli, cabbage, and onions. And we cut up the potatoes. So exciting. But here we must beat the heat and hope to have at least some of the harvesting done before baby arrives in late June.

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  6. Quinn -
    Thanks for your onion hints. I'm looking forward to seeing how they do this summer.

    I should have said that I don't NEED to grow tomatoes. My dear mother-in-law grows lots of tomatoes for all her daughters. I just give her the seed packs and place my "order"! She has a grow light system set up in her basement and grows the nicest tomato plants I've seen. Lots nicer then the ones you buy. Someday maybe I can get a grow light and heat mat and do it right in my basement, but as long as she is eager to grow them, I don't bother!

    Gina

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  7. We have had the most beautiful weather here this week. I mean perfect. In the 70's with sun but not too bright. I am so ready for spring to be here since we have had an unusually cold winter this year.

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  8. Gina,
    Your children remind me of mine from years past. The blond hair and beautiful faces! I never let the guilt of fun outdoor times outweigh the pleasure and irreversible memories get to me for a very long period!!!! Glad to see you enjoy your days!!!! I am making a hoop house!! We visited the hardware store yesterday! The thoughts of garden lettuce in my back yard is a Blessing!
    Have a Beautiful Day,

    Debbie S

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  9. here is a little tip for inside gardeners. put alittle dirt in one of those plastic berry containers and you can put your seeds in and close top. it is a mini hot house.

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  10. So lovely! Spring is popping in for us around here too. Just realized this morning that March is practically next week.

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  11. Hoping that spring is nearly here in Georgia.

    I really enjoyed your "12 New Things - Homemade Lotion." post. Did you make homemade soap, yet?

    I have subscribed to your blog, and I'm looking forward to following your posts. I've nominated your blog for the Stylish Blogger Award. You can learn more about it and pick up your award here:
    http://kneedeepingrace.com/2011/02/my-first-blog-award/

    Blessings,
    Penny
    http://kneedeepingrace.com

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  12. Oh I am also longing for warmer weather. More snow this morning and some Saturday, but we also had a couple warm days last week and just made me want to get out of the office and play outside. Our garden area is still buried under 12-14 inches of snow, so no hope getting into it yet.

    I have never tried to grow onions. I have planted leeks, but they never really grew big enough to use. I guess with leeks you need well furtilized soil and lots of sun. We had both, but perhaps our growing season is just too short. Because of space issues, onions and carrots we don't try to grow. They are not so expensive in the store and we opt to grow veggies that are more expensive to purchase. We both like beans of all types. Green beans, shell beans, stew beans and they grow well here, so that's one of our major crops. The squash... summer and winter types. Then beets and peas, rhubarb, asparagus, tomatoes and this year I'm adding kale. We just discovered we both like kale LOTS. I started out by just putting some in a soup. It has this spicy taste and it's not bitter like many other greens and full of all sorts of good things for ya.

    OK, can you tell I'm getting excited???

    Happy spring.

    Loved your choice of children's book. It's been a long time since my girls were little but we spent lots of time a the library choosing books. Some of these we've read and many others.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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