The calendar says it is March, which is supposed to be the meteorological start to spring. However the weather itself must have missed getting that email, and dumped us with another load of snow last week. I measured a little over 7 inches, and we were lucky it wasn’t more since about 50 miles south of us they got over 20 inches. Then the cold air came in right behind the snow, making for daytime high temps around 20°F on Thursday. The average high in our area in early March is over 50°F, and you don’t have to be a math major to see we were 30 degrees below normal!
Of course, what’s normal anymore when it comes to the weather? I know folks from colder climates may well be saying “welcome to our world”, but it has brought some unusual challenges to gardening here. I am prepared for the greenhouse door to be snowed in, but I know I can shovel a clearing to get it open. But I was totally unprepared to get inside the greenhouse and find my potting soil was all frozen in big chunks! I had to bring it inside the house to thaw. While I was at it, I brought in a few small pots and a couple of plug flats so I will have what I need to start some seeds.
Once I had usable potting soil, I transplanted some seedlings I had started back in February. I now have parsley, arugula and lettuce going, as well as some Senposai and Mizspoona greens. Now I hope the cold frame bed will be thawed in a couple of weeks so I have a place to plant them! The seeds I started included broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi and a bit of spring kale. I’m also giving broccoli raab a try again, and hopefully this time I will figure out how I like it in the kitchen. This week I will start some peppers and petunias, with tomatoes to follow soon after.
The snow wasn’t all bad though. It gave my wife the raw material she needed to do some snow dyeing. I had a heavy white short sleeve t-shirt made by Comfort Colors I gave her to dye for me. I chose a green shade of dye (yucca). Can you tell I am ready for spring? I’ll take a green shirt until I see green in the garden. With snow dyeing you never know exactly how the colors will turn out, and I love the look on this one. I could wear it out in the garden, and hide amongst the foliage! The photo doesn’t really do the shirt justice.
It was my wife’s turn to cook last week. For one meal she stuffed some chicken breasts with a mix that included spinach and feta cheese. The spinach came from the freezer, some of our spring crop. To go with the chicken, we cut up a North Georgia Candy Roaster squash into slices, tossed with some oil and salt, and then baked them.
We both agreed that the squash was pretty much unremarkable, and lacked flavor. It was so bad, the leftovers wound up on the compost pile. We have too many good tasting winter squashes left that I would rather eat instead. We saw lots and lots of them last fall at the Ashville, NC farmer’s market, so I know they are popular. And I know this is supposed to be a tasty squash, but the only one I harvested last year left much to be desired, and I won’t grow this C. maxima type again this year. The baked stuffed chicken breasts are a favorite of mine though, even though dairy doesn’t always agree with me.
She also served up pita pizza for dinner last night, and that featured fresh arugula and spinach from the greenhouse. The spinach has really started growing in there, and we have enough for a salad or two already.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of what’s going on here in early March. To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. I’ll be back soon with more happening from Happy Acres.