I don’t know which I like better, harvest time or planting time. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love harvest time! Reaping the reward for all my hard work? That’s about as good as it gets when it comes to the garden.
Until you venture out after months of cold. Okay, this is an exaggeration, but darned if it hasn’t felt like months of cold in Florida this past winter. Locked up indoors all this time, you wander out to the garden and notice the buds sprouting anew. Actually, it was the bird swooping down upon my largest blueberry plant that caught my attention, but what a lift to the spirit! Especially after losing those gorgeous tomatoes to the freeze. And the potatoes, the beans… My peas are still touch and go, but let me tell you, when I first caught glimpse of my blueberry buds, followed by the emergence of their pink little blossoms…
I went light-headed. They survived! Sound the alarms! My blueberries made it through the winter.
Yes, I know. They grow wild in North Carolina where the mercury dips a tad lower than Central Florida, but the exhilaration is the same, I assure you. These sweet bushes had me convinced they were dead and gone–until these buds appeared. And blossomed! Yes ma’am, these pups will prosper, of that I’ll make certain. I’ve already purchased my anti-bird netting having learned my lesson after those hungry varmints, er, I mean, beautiful winged neighbors of mine feasted on the sumptuous berries last summer. Sure, I like to share, but not give away the farm! There are limits!
Limits these kids pay no mind to whatsoever. As though it were open season on wild fruit. Grrrr… Even the kids shoo the beasts off!
Eh, hem. Back to my original point. I love springtime! I’m back in the garden, tilling in my first batch of compost, affectionately referred to as black gold, something I’d sell, in kind, if I were able, but that’s another post. For now, I’m eagerly anticipating the boost in growth I am certain to witness. Once my seeds get a taste of black gold they will race for the skies, grow twice as big as before, three times — maybe four! My compost is so potent, I have sproutlings rising out of nowhere! I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure this little jewel is not the Lima bean I planted yesterday. After confusing this gem with the pole beans, I can IDENTIFY a Lima bean leaf when I see one.
The biggest reason to celebrate spring? I can eat all the Girl Scout cookies I want. Well, maybe once I’m able to fit into my jeans, again, but at this rate, with all the exercise I’m getting in the garden, it will happen in no time!
You see? Yet another reason to revel in spring! Warm sun on your skin (not your face — you don’t want any more carving than absolutely necessary), the pump of your heart, the flow of blood tingling down through your tippy-toes… Spring is the time to get active and I for one am whole-heartedly filled with the gusto. Already planned for crop rotation. A tricky endeavor for me, since I realized there was not quite the rhyme and reason to my fall planting I thought there was–but I’m good, nonetheless. So what if I extend my garden a few feet to accommodate the corn and watermelon, the sweet potatoes and pumpkins. I have the space, why not give em some elbow room?
And the sproutlings are too cute. Nearly as cute as newborns and a whole host easier to care for, they are gobs of fun. Kinda like a puppy. So long as it’s not me chasing the sweet pea through the house, slipping on splatters of excitement as my heart races with each near miss of the china cabinet. Oh, yes, those days are OVER. These days are HERE! Not that we parents don’t love every hair-raising minute, but I’m getting too old for that kind of thrill. Remember, I’m on schedule to achieve centenarian status. A bone fracture could take me out of the running.
As it stands, I plan to enjoy the moment. Line my rows with fresh hay, tend to my babies while keeping a steadfast eye on their elders — the garlic should be nearing maturity, along with my sweet onions — and focus on my aggressive planting schedule. Do you know how many bean bushes you have to plant to produce a serving for four? For one night?
More than I believed. Whew. Tons more. But this time, I’m ready.
P.S. My cabbage have offspring! Look at these kids. Aren’t they darling? Not only did their mama provide me with a bowl full of cole slaw, but the kids promise more of the same. These are the result of scoring the base of the cabbage plant after cutting the mature head for consumption. Yum.