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a new season begins

March 2, 2012

it’s march! the remnants of last season are still in evidence all around, but the new season is upon us. there is simultaneous decay and new growth — the first daffodils are poking green leaves out of the ground while many of our fall crops have not yet been turned under. this week i sowed onions, leeks and shallots in the greenhouse. next week brings all manner of green leafy things as well as our first high tunnel tomatoes.

yesterday afternoon i walked the fields and was drawn to the frozen-thawed-frozen-thawed vegetable skeletons, still in their straight rows surrounded by mud and patchy snow. i found it fascinating to see which parts of the plants have melted toward the ground and which are still standing. like the cauliflower heads — which are hidden by tall leaves in living plants — now standing at the pinnacle of their stalks, bare for all to see.

i also visited the beehives to see how they have fared the winter so far. it’s too cold to open the hives, but a beekeeper’s trick is to press your ear to the outside of the hive and knock on the wood. the bees inside, if they are still living, respond to the vibration of your knock with a distinct hum. it came loud and clear from three of the four hives. i think i heard a faint hum from the fourth, but it could have been my imagination. as soon as we get a day above 50, i’ll take a peek inside to see how they’re all faring and make sure they have enough food to last til the nectar flows.

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