Does this weather mean we’ll have a six-month-long summer?

Other indications of spring are spring onions in every possible form.  Here’re regular scallions, chives, and walking onions in a greenhouse bed.  Since they coexist with Egg Season, we’ve been pairing a lot of them lately, because, really, who can resist cong you bing for breakfast?  Not me!

I watched a fingernail moon hurdle the treeline as I was milking this morning.  So strange, this weather…have we skipped a month?  Did I miss it somehow?  How else to explain the scent of hibiscus and daffodils and the sound of the nightjars’ calls. Surely it’s late April, not mid-March.

The kid about to unplant her first spuds last July

Traditionally, however, St. Patrick’s Day is pea- and potato-planting day ’round here.  Many years I haven’t even been able to trench the frozen earth to accept peas (much less potatoes) but this year I wonder if the soil is already too warm for them.  If “regular” weather returns the potatoes, though, can take more than a few frosts, if my consistent missed-spud harvesting every fall is an indication.  Those volunteers are always my first spud harvests.

Fava beans, parsnips, carrots and beets have also been planted outside, some already sprouting.  Baby lettuces transferred around.  Late root crops pulled and eaten.

I am thankful to the slow slide into winter that we had last year:  I was fully able to put the garden beds “to bed” for the winter (out with the old harvests and in with the thick mulch) so this spring’s planting is amazingly easy.

And I also realize that I am somehow always optimistic about the time I will have in the future to take on some project (either maintenance or new hairshirt I mean farm task).  Does this time ever materialize?  Nope, never.  It’s best to do whatever it is (fully dig out a weedy bed, fully repair that fence section) when it needs to be done…trust me here.  Its effects can be cumulative if you put it off.

7 responses to “Does this weather mean we’ll have a six-month-long summer?

  1. Yes, this has been an early spring for sure! I was tempted to put in the early spring crops earlier than I did, and I should have. Now I’m tempted to put out some tomatoes instead of mid-April to see what happens (I’m in zone 6). However, I’m still worried that Old Man Winter will spring something on us broken back and all!

  2. Yep, I keep thinking we’re getting such a running start on cleanup and prep etc. that we won’t be so rushed at “real” planting time. I’m sure I’ll find a way to squander this bonus time. And I suppose I should get going on outdoor early crops since if this keeps up everything in the hoop will be bolting. Sheesh, remember how cold April was last year? This is SO strange….

  3. Well, yes, doing what must at the time needed is probably generally the best approach. I thought we were in spring, but our winter (which is really spring) came back for a quick visit.

  4. Oh, I HOPE so! Send some of your warmth over here to Western Washington…it was 31* again this morning, with another mess of snow on the ground (we never get snow, and certainly never in March!)

  5. PS- going back to the subject of your “There Will Be Blood” post, I kept meaning to come back to it & mention that the best tool I have in my critter first aid kit is this stuff:
    Wonder Dust is an activated charcoal powder, and I have used it so far to repair a (domestic) pheasant hen who had been severely beaten by the cock- but the huge sore went undetected due to feather cover…by the time I found it, it was a nasty black oozy festering thing & I was sure she was a gonner. I cleaned the sore w/ betadine & dumped Wonder on it. Within a week (after only that one doctoring) you couldn’t see any trace that there had ever been a wound there. Similar story last week w/ the puppy who had gotten her ears torn up and I couldn’t get them to quit bleeding- nothing was doing the trick til I dumped wonder on the sores. They’re healing nicely now. Right or wrong, the stuff seems to work (someone recommended not using it on humans with light skin, as it is likely to “tatoo” & leave a black mark permanently under the skin as it heals w/ the charcoal- good point!)
    Sorry that this is posted in the wrong place, wasn’t sure if I went back to the other post that you’d find it buried down there. :o)

  6. You had me at cong you bing….

  7. Liz, as long as you can cover up the tomatoes they’ll probably be fine. With the heat crops it’s the temperature of the soil that determines how fast they’ll grow…of course that’s tied to the actual temperature but you get what I mean. And yes get a move on for the other spring stuff!

    Sara, BOLTING is exactly what is happening, it’s kind of disturbing. And i do have a long memory, and am able to see March and April of last year as being the usual miserableness. Anyway, even though I love going back to the outdoor tasks, I am NOT happy about this weather.

    Stef, yeah, the whole west coast is behind, isn’t it? Snows, rain. Maybe your water table will leap back up to normal with all this precipitation. You’re still in soup season! not a bad place to be, especially if you still have loads of knitting to do…

    Thanks Shauna. I will definitely look into the black powder! The roosters got pretty ripped up in the lead-up to the harvest, so having more stuff on hand would probably be really helpful. And I would say I would take your snow but the tractor is broken!

    Brett, I thought so. Wanted to make sure you were paying attention. I actually suck at making Chinese food but that’s an easy-enough recipe for me.

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