Freezer bags of corn, shredded zucchini and edamame, once stacked so tightly on the shelves, are also on the ebb. So, too, are the jars of apple sauce and salsa. And, just one more pie or two will use up the last gooseberries and black currants.
As much as the recent arrival of temperatures in the 50s and longer days have signaled that spring is nigh, it’s the dwindling stores of fruit and vegetables that have kicked my seasonal clock into gear. We need to start growing so we can start replenishing the larder!
Outside, the snow has yet to melt enough to prune fruit trees, berry bushes and grapes, but inside we have buttercrunch lettuce, pansies, cutting celery, onions and celeriac already started under lights. I’m waiting patiently for ever-bearing Sarian strawberries to germinate and lavender seeds to finish chilling in moist soil in the fridge. Next to be sown: Hot Asian peppers, jalapeños, parsley root, marigolds and a variety of herbs.
Who needs New Year’s resolutions, when you can rejuvenate the spirit by prepping for spring?
As temperatures plunged in the following weeks, I patiently sorted through our seed stores, perused dog-eared catalogs, placed my orders and marked the calendar for when to start what. Blizzard-worthy winds howled and snow drifts piled up while I hauled out a folding table and set up my growing station. By mid-February, I just couldn’t wait any longer.
Now, the dining room smells like a greenhouse as I contentedly greet the plants each morning with “sunlight” and a drink.
This morning ritual will suffice until the snow finishes melting, the ground dries, and we’re able to plant this year’s patch of peas.