Garden planning… oy.

The weather has been amazing lately. There’s nothing like a good Michigan winter to put me in a properly grateful place once the first 50 degree day comes around. I swear, those first few days are therapeutic for me, and I can’t seem to find anything wrong with the world. We’ve spent most of this week outside, and Vera is definitely a girl after my own heart. She can’t get enough! All she wants to do is play in the mud and go to the park. I love my little girl. You know, it’s clear to me that you get the kids you are supposed to get, and this little one is definitely mine. 

Vera was jumping up and down in the mud, and loving it. Pure glee, I tell you. I wish I had remembered to document the mud smeared on each cheek by the end of the afternoon. Must be why her skin is so lovely- fresh spring mud masks! Anyway, I anticipate more beautiful, sunny, filthy-muddy days in the near future. What am I talking about? She’s got dirt smeared on her face and hands right now…

She’s been completely attached to this strawberry hat, too. She tends to pick a favorite and go with it for a while, but this hat she’s been wearing for the past three days- in the house and out. She actually wanted to sleep in it the night before last. She woke up this morning, and in a panicked sleepy voice, said "Hat! My stwaaabewy hat!"  

Oh also, under all that snow there (which is melted today) is an entire winter’s worth of dog poo… how lovely. I wonder who’ll end up tackling that job this spring… yikes! We might have to draw for it.

I took the opportunity to repot most of my plants. They were all growing out of their containers, and they seem so much happier now. I split plants and gave a couple to my sister. It just feels good to have my hands in the dirt again, and to nurture a little life after a long winter. 🙂

Today I set up outside again (it’s nearly 60 degrees!!!) to start some more seeds. Vera and my niece were playing happily in the yard, getting muddy of course, and I filled the old egg cartons with seed starting mix and sprinkled it all with water. Then… I stared. I started to do a little math in my head, to try to figure out how many of this and how many of that we need. Then it all flew out my head just as quickly as it came. I stopped myself after too long and realized I need to do a little more planning now. I’m at the stage where I actually have to take a look at the amount of space I have, take rotation into consideration, and just do a little more urban farming research. I’ll start the seeds tomorrow or this weekend. 
I really want to be able to store enough food for the whole year (with the exception of meat, grain, and dairy). So far, we’re doing great with last year’s haul. I can’t believe it’s already March. We’re really low on veggies now, but we still have tomatoes (thanks to our dear friend who let me raid her garden after she was through with it- I think I canned an extra 20 quarts!). This year I’d like to stretch the veggies until June, and have all those tomatoes come from our yard. Can it be done? I think it can.

The other day I had a moment where I was really happy that we eat mostly seasonally. You appreciate so much more! I dug out a quart of some cream of asparagus soup that I made in June, and we heated it up for dinner last week. It was AMAZING. There is nothing like fresh, seasonal asparagus. I’m glad I froze this soup, because it seemed to maintain its integrity, even 9 months later. This is nothing like canned cream of asparagus soup, and out of season asparagus pales in comparison. I can’t even explain it. It’s just way better. WAY better. I can’t wait to fill up on it again this June. Anyway, next to the soup is some homemade sourdough with cream cheese and my tomato skin tapenade (made from leftover tomato skins and seeds from the canning process last summer. I love it, and I’ll never toss away those skins again). 

I guess I’m just feeling spring. It’s good.

Quote of the day:
"It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"  ~Mark Twain


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