Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sugar Snow and Spring Thoughts

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday morning and already past 7 AM. I have been sitting here since 5 reorganizing some of last year's pictures and getting a better set up on my various hard drives for this year. Taking pictures is the easy part but screening what you took and naming them is time consuming. I am not a photographer and hardly can take a good picture but the world of digital was made for me. You can shoot yourself silly and most always pick something that catches attention.

I've been busy for a couple weeks now with some autism legislation in Montpelier. The Vermont budget is a mess and funding is less than likely now. Legislators who vote against dealing with this need now are shortsighted for sure and will get bit hard from behind when they look at it again. Vermont is one of only two states with a two year term for governor and this impacts on any legislation.

So after some interruptions I believe strongly in, I'm just now able to get back to spring planning. Although it snowed last night, the sugar snow confirms that spring is really here. There will be some more cold nights and an April storm of 8"-10"-12" of snow is not uncommon but whatever it amounts to, it won't last long. I keep looking up at the thermometer on the shelf above my desk. I feel badly that it didn't go low enough last night for a good sap run today. It got below 30 last night for less than an hour and has been above freezing since midnight. The maple trees needed a hard freeze to run well today but here on the mountain, it just didn't happen.

Gail has been checking over our inventory from last year against her new orders and every once in a while I ask a couple "Did you order.....???" questions and the piles of paper start flying and one way or another I receive an answer. People come to visit us now accompanied by Excel spreadsheets listing everything they have and fancy layouts from landscaping software to show where everything is planted, from color to height to bloom time. One person comes with two trees worth of paper downloads from the Internet to ask why our prices are what they are and can't we do better. Gardeners sure do come in a interesting variety don't they?

The plan for this spring is that I help Gail and her crew get everything planted for this season here at Peacham Pond Road. Nothing will change here excepting that there will be larger quantities of some items. I figure we'll start planting in about 3 weeks and should be done by the end of May, first week of June. From there, I'll do a quick rehash of the amount of firewood I have down and drying for next winter and then I'll begin work on the new property. Everyone has priorities! The perimeter fence goes up first and then I'll begin building a tool shed and planting the front display garden.

Gail is finalizing the design for the first display garden you'll see as you enter the new property. It will be 200 feet long by 10 feet wide. There will be a split rail fence the entire length and set about 7 feet in from the parking area. I want to get this planted first so it displays well next year when we are finally open for business there. Drawing fancy pictures is the easy part but turning clay soil into workable loam takes time.

I always ask myself why my springtime thoughts already give me the feeling that we're behind before we start but that's what happens to all gardeners when spring arrives. A list works well for us and we review it often and feel good when items can be crossed off. Life is complicated for everyone now days and this next couple years will be a real challenge for us. Visit us often, either by web or in person and lend kind words and happy smiles. We'll need lots of both!!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the mud is getting deep and the robins have arrived at our 1530 foot elevation, scratching some form of breakfast this morning from underneath the white pines.

Spring gardening wishes,

George Africa