Spring, is that you?


It has taken soooooooooooooooooooo long!

None of us has any memory that compares to this past Winter.  Even the old timers seem a bit shell shocked.  And yet Winter is quickly forgotten on a wonderful sunny Spring day when the kids in the neighborhood all emerge from their homes at the sound of other kids’ voices, and the parents watch happily while chatting on the sidewalk.

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We’re tapping our lovely neighbor’s sugar maple tree and so far have collected about a 1/2 gallon.  Not bad, but it will never be enough to make any maple syrup with.  That’s okay because we bought three 4-liter jugs (3.8 liters = 1 gallon) of syrup from the Mennonite farmers at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday (a day in which we had no doubt that Winter still wanted to have the last word).  Last year we purchased three jugs and they lasted us until about February.  That’s an average of a little over a liter of syrup per month.  “Do you guys eat pancakes all the time?” my father-in-law asked us.  Yes, but we also use it for baking, granola, hot cereal, beer-making, homemade soda…. you get the picture.  It’s much more expensive than sugar, but somehow doesn’t seem to come with the same baggage.  Plus since we buy it in bulk we get a better price, around $10 a liter.

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But on to my original point for this post.  Since Spring is finally appearing around here it reminds us that it’s time to get serious about the garden.  We started our tomatoes, peppers, and a few greens back in January and February, which was a good idea for everything but the tomatoes—they’re huge now, about 12 inches tall!  We’ve transplanted them 2 or 3 times already and are not sure what we’ll do, but at least we ought to have some early tomatoes this year!  Now we’ll need to get everything else in order and start putting things in the ground….

I think it’s worth looking back at:

Last year’s post on starting seeds.

Building a simple hoop-house cold frame.

Acclimating seedlings.

Building a cheap shelf cold frame.

And when bad things happen to good people plants.

So, happy gardening season!  Around here we are all glad it’s finally arrived.