His voice was low and sweet. Not the chip-chip of Mr. Cardinal calling to his mate, this was a long and beautiful melody celebrating the warmer weather.
“Watch out, birdie,” I thought, “Winter isn’t over yet.”
I couldn’t see him as he flit from tree to tree, but his voice never left me as I walked about the property. As my feet pounded the red dirt, I was filled with emotion. Excited at the idea spring is only a couple of months away. Gratitude for the weather which turned fair this week, although we have snow and ice again in the forecast. Yesterday and today are a respite from the cloudy skies which seem to close in day after day.
The birdsong was like a clarion call saying “It’s time.”
Time to plan the vegetable garden. Which seeds will you need? I bought and planted spinach seed in the fall. It should come up by itself this spring. Also, the lettuce and carrots grew throughout winter under their warm blankets. Still, I need peas, sugar snap and snow. Although my family doesn’t like beets, I do, so I’ll plant a row or two. Plus, turnips with a homegrown taste as sweet as sugar. My mouth longs for decent turnips to simmer with the ham hocks I bought from the Oklahoma Food Co-op. I’m going to the annual meeting on Saturday, and I’ll let you know what I discover.
Which lettuces should I place in my online shopping cart? I want to plant alternating blocks of red and of bright green. I may buy Devil’s Tongue from Territorial Seed. It’s as red as a tomato and would look great next to Black Seeded Simpson. How about a speckled row too? Have you seen the picture of Strawberry Cabbage lettuce in the Comstock Seeds catalog? A true beauty shot which made my mouth water. If you haven’t perused this catalog, send for one. Those lovely folks from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Jere and Emilie Gettle purchased Comstock Ferre last summer. The Baker Creek catalog is also absolutely beautiful and worth settling down with to enjoy while you have your morning coffee.
In years past, I’ve ordered from Seed Savers Exchange (apparently they’re in the midst of controversy), and I’m a huge fan of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange because their varieties perform in our horrendous heat. Both groups save the best and most unusual of heirloom seeds. From Seed Savers, I’ll buy small round carrots like Paris Market. These smaller carrots just perform better in my soil which has pockets of clay. I’ve noticed many catalogs are utilizing a similar format to Penzey’s Spices in that they are filled with gorgeous photographs, important information and recipes. This is both forward thinking and a throwback to latter days. I think in the very near future, once technology is cheaper for producers, we’ll see a similar format on the next generation of e-readers. We’ve already seen what the iPad can do for Martha Stewart magazine.
One day, I’ll cozy up to my color e-reader of choice and peruse my favorite catalogs making notes with the built-in highlighter as I go, and won’t that be efficient? We’ll probably even be able to order directly from the e-reader. However, in the meantime, I’ve got my print catalogs in hand, and I’m off to sit with a cup of tea enjoying them as they are.
As you know, I heard a bird sing today, so spring can’t be far away.