Robert worked outside from early morning until the light faded from the yard over the weekend. Each night, he came inside with hands covered in dirt and a bent back after hours of leaning. But the smile on his face told me the physical hardships did nothing to dampen the sheer joy of planting the garden for 2013.
As with the rest of the country, we’ve had a very long winter. March saw temperatures dipping below the freezing point nearly every night. The last few weeks, we’d been scrounging for firewood for our Buck fireplace that heats our family room on cold winter nights. We had enough wood put up for a typical winter – more if you count the four weeks we spent in Florida. But a typical winter here in southwestern Pennsylvania usually lasts until the end of February or early March. Onions should have been in the ground weeks ago. The pea sprouts almost went too long. He finally put the first batch in last week despite predictions of 25 degree nights. His bet paid off. When he checked on Saturday, peas were popping out of the soil.
He planted more peas, spinach and some members of the “cole” family. Parsley went in the herb planter in the yard.
Now the only enemy here in the second week of April are the mallard ducks that don’t know better than to find water to live. Once again they’ve come back to our yard to nest and love walking through the garden ignoring the paths in between the raised beds. (See post on the Mallard Ducks of Raccoon Township).