Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Oklahoma winter/spring/winter/spring???

An Oklahoma Spring rears is magnificent head, handing out a string of warm days and evenings and then suddenly turning cold. Undoing the blossoms on the trees, stopping the greening of the grass and making the birds retreat back into their warm nests. The cold front that moved in yesterday behind the several days of warm 70 plus degree days reminds me I am in Oklahoma and since the spring of 2004 I have witnessed this occurrence every year since and every year been somewhat dumbfounded. Silly me.
This year I’m not going to fight it. I prepared well in advance. I’m not attached to harvesting plums even though since I’ve moved to the farm I have only done so once and I might add they were the best plums! Not attached. I’m also not attached to having peaches this summer form Don Chiartarno, even though his peaches have been the best I have tasted in all of my life. Not attached. I have accepted I will wake up throughout the night and check the temperature in the greenhouse. I have resigned to the fact that I will be bringing tender seedlings in and out of the house. And I have accepted that this is how my lower back is going to respond to all of this.

But really I’m not ready for spring, the real one at least. I need the grass in the garden to stay looking dead for at least another week until I can get out there with the chisel plow. I still need to get beds ready for my first planting of onions, potatoes, beets and turnips, scallions and spinach.(I’m not early I’m not exactly on time but I’m not late) Not ready. So a reminder that winter aint over yet brings me a slight sense of relief, if only a fleeting one. They’ve removed the forecast for snow.

This is the time of year in spite of the weather the farm explodes with life and activity. Everything needs to be done all at once. Tomatoes and peppers need transplanting , garden needs to be planted, signing up for plant festivals need to be done, and within days my does will be poppin’ out kids and I’ll have an extra 16 mouths to bottle feed three times a day and a waterfall of white gold (goat milk!). Absolutely crazy and out of control but beautiful and gratifying. Throughout the chaos there is a calmness that falls over the farm like a thick blanket, and the only way I can really enjoy it is if I don’t try to control it. I have finally learned this. The farm is a living breathing entity who has a creative nature, you know the type. It’s better to just be as supportive as I can and not try to dictate what I want and who I want it to be. It always rebels, always. I make my requests and most times they are gladly accommodated, I’ve learned to trust the farm because there are times its blatantly obvious it knows best.

I’m off to don my Carhartts and feed the Animals. There’s a big day ahead.
I transplanted some tomato seedlings the other day, they look good. Right now they’re in the greenhouse covered in a protective tent of extra greenhouse plastic with a little heater that’s keeping it a nice 70 degrees in there for them.

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