April 22. The day that my universe expanded to the outdoors. Although a chilly wind blew periodically today, the temperature soared to 58 degrees and the sun shone consistently, radiating warmth. I felt body and soul relax, as I threw open windows and doors, started turning over the soil in my raised beds, raked and cleaned up yard debris, lifted garden fabric off my lavender plants, and paid attention to long-frozen compost. I moved a few trays of seedlings out into the sun for a few hours, to start hardening them off for transplant.
I took a long walk around our property here in Guildhall, looking for spring plants, tree buds, insects, birds and other wildlife. And then I went for a glorious 1.25 mile run and walk, my first of the season.
My first act in honor of Earth Day was to move my beloved rosemary plant, right, out onto the porch, facing the Connecticut River. It gives the porch a certain Mediterranean atmosphere.
Below is a freshly-dug raised bed, watered and warmed by the sun. In a few days, I’ll plant the first round of lettuce, arugala, radishes, spinach, and other greens here. Around Memorial Day, I’ll replace those cool-weather crops with tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, and basil, and close the greenhouse walls if the temps fall below 70 degrees.
Here’s my indoor seedling setup, under lights.
I always get a bit excited about composting when spring comes. Below is my compost area, which has gotten more sophisticated over the years. The front two bins contain compost for the food and herb gardens. The two bins in the rear are for dog waste composting. I use it on the flower gardens and at the base of shrubs and ornamental grasses. (We never send dog waste to the landfill anymore!) The metal barrels contain sawdust, which I have learned is the best source of carbon for good compost. (I get my sawdust from Northeast Kingdom Waste Management, in Lyndonville). Although you can’t really see it in this photo, my favorite agricultural tool hangs from a tree branch in the upper left. It’s for aerating the compost–and between it and the sawdust, I’ve had excellent compost over the last couple of years.
We have a fair amount of interesting artwork in our yard now. Here are the fiddlehead sculptures, which I adore. Seeing them poke out of the snow has helped me get through this long winter. I can’t wait for the real, edible fiddleheads to be harvested.
For the first time since November, I walked down to the flood plain and stood on the banks of the Connecticut River. It was downright intoxicating. Happy Earth Day from the Northeast Kingdom!