food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
My Winter Turns to Spring
Perhaps because so much out in the world seems uncertain this winter has seemed a bit drear but I always look forward to spring . . .
A wind swept beach was my Thanksgiving destination late last November. It was windy and chilly and blew all my cares away. I wrote for hours in silence and rested for a wonderful week of retreat. While there I visited with a niece I don’t get a chance to see often and her wonderful sense of humor helped to untangle my stresses!! Thank you, Sharon!!
I think we here in the Virginia Piedmont were all surprised with the early December snow – I measured 7 ½ inches here in Browns Cove! But the weather shifted to chilly rain for the next few weeks; rain, rain; seemingly endless rain;. I finally got a dry afternoon outside to do a bit of pruning and flower bed cleanup before it snowed again. Then it was a run of very cold days with indoor cookery and fireside tasks calling me.
I spent one long day washing wool that had been
stored in the sewing room for far too long! I finally figured out how to use
the washing machine to successfully wash and damp spin large quantities of
My friend Barbara came out to spend a snowy evening
making Chinese-style dumplings with me. We gorged on steamed dumplings and pot
I’ve been able to pick and eat larger and larger
portions of fresh greens from the cold frame since January. I started spinach,
collards, kale and chard in Sept and they have done well. Even when the last
big storm hit, the windows over the bed protected the plants and once the snow
was brushed away from the glass the plants just blinked in the sun and kept on
growing! I’ve steamed some pickings and added some raw to salad. The watercress
in my boggy area has leafed out so I have spicy crunch for salad.
Two weeks ago as the first daffs kept me company I began the new garden path renovation project. In order to clear the way I had many daffs, hostas, and some roses to move despite how early it was – they were just gonna have to suck it up and grow. Last week I found homes for the rest of the hostas in the way of the new path and my son Nikolas dug out and leveled the wide new curve through the flower beds. The last part of the project will have to wait for a few weeks. Well, everything in its own good time! One of the granddaughters and her buddy are coming out to help begin dismantling the hoop house. So much to do!
Oh, the transplanted roses seemed to have taken me
seriously and are leafing out. The daffs are blooming and hostas seem to be the
most forgiving plant I’ve ever moved.
Ah, you ask, no garden seeds sown? My frost free is
May 10. So not yet. Dahlias and Asian Lilies are in pots under the lights ready
to go out with the first decently warmish nights but no garden veggies. I’m
determined to be prudent now so I’m not cursing leggy seedlings later.