Spring Takes Hold

By , April 2, 2012

Somewhere in the final days of March, we began to fell as if spring had finally taken hold. Although we still had plenty of snow on the ground, we had a run of nights that didn’t fall below freezing. Even as the weather system held steady, we could feel a shift. Shoots began poking up out of the snow one day, the next day the snow had retreated from around them, and they’d doubled in size.


Garlic shoots in the snow near the rhubarb patch. (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

On March 31st we opened up the diversion to fill our summer water tank. We can tell there are a few places where ice in the line has blocked it, but we expect that to thaw within days. As we came back down through the woods, we heard a commotion out on the water. A small pod of killer whales swept through out bight. The herring will arrive soon.

We fired up the gas generator and plugged in the table saw to cut wood for new grow boxes in the greenhouse. I’ll need to switch from cutting firewood to checking and mending nets in a day or two. Stuff’s happening!

Of course, there’s a good possibility that we’re wrong about this. We could easily have more hard freezes to come. But, somehow, I don’t think so. I’m going to go out on a limb and act as if it really is spring.

6 Responses to “Spring Takes Hold”

  1. joanna says:

    Hi Mark and Michelle!

    It’s your #1 fan from Brooklyn! It’s so funny to see garlic poking up through the snow. Here on this side of the world, spring has been in full throttle for weeks. It’s been frighteningly warm, actually…we’re past bloom for many things in the garden! I had the same fear as you–of a late freeze–but there’s not much we can do other than cover the most gentle plants and hope they’ll do their thing.

    I’ve been thinking about your reduce-reuse-recycle post and it’s really quite a different world here. If you lived in New York, with you wouldn’t ever buy anything. On a daily basis I watch things get thrown away which still have so many possible usages–or which could be repurposed in some way. A wheel off a broken cart, a piece of drywall, fabric from ripped clothes… I hate to think I’m part of that consumer culture cycle that just buys and throws away…

    In any case, sending warm regards from the NE!


  2. Valerie says:

    Here in South Carolina we will plant the spring garden on Good Friday. Tradition says that is the best time! We have had a very mild winter so the mosquitoes are already out and we have been enjoying days in the the 80’s in March. Can’t wait to get my hands in that garden soil.

  3. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi J.,

    I didn’t realize we had any fans in Brooklyn! We’re actually not afraid of a late freeze, we just realize it’s a possibility. I’m trying to get Michelle to write a post about her research into this. Conventional wisdom says not to plant here till the last frost date, May 31st. She did some careful research, and has concluded that we can safely plant a full 2 weeks earlier, and even that is a conservative estimate. We’ve also learned that seedlings under about 6″ tall are generally not affected by a spring frost. Every extra day that we can grow food really adds up.

    I love dumpster diving, and I imagine New York must be a mecca for this activity. Still, I doubt it would tempt me to move there. We lived in Rochester, NY for a summer, and that was more than enough for us.

    Thanks for reading the blog!


  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Valerie,

    Our mosquitoes are out, too, which is making the firewood cutting a bit less pleasant. Good luck with gardening this year!


  5. Virginia White says:

    I know it’s spring when our desert tortoise Omega comes out of hibernation. She came out on Tuesday! Spring is here.

  6. Mark Zeiger says:

    That’s great, Virginia! My adopted grandparents used to have a couple of desert tortoises on their mountain ranch. My brother and I loved them, but we were very patient children . . . .

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