Archive for March, 2011

Planting Potatoes

March came in with a gorgeous ice storm. Greening up on hold.

angus in ice storm

The view on March 8th.

Shortly afterward it got warmer – pleasant even – although there were still large heaps of dispirited snow in the shady spots. But gradually (very gradually), the heaps diminished to tiny piles. We heard peepers. The crocus, early iris and eranthus began to bloom.

close up of eranthus

One thing I love about eranthus are those frilly skirts. Another is their cheerful willingness to multiply.

As further encouragement, we have now had St Patrick’s day, aka Make Soda Bread day and the first day of spring and the arrival of two of my favorite fall catalogs – Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and Adelman peonies. Definitely planting time, even if it is going to be 14 – 16 degrees at night for most of the coming week.

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Home Harvested Sweetness, First Installment

bee on purple crucus

Where there are shoots, there will soon be flowers. Also bees.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed with imminent spring. It’s just so inspiring to see those fleets of tender crocus shoots pushing up; so inspiring ( in a slightly different way) to see those fleets of last autumn’s canned goods still lining the shelves.

Haven’t started raking yet, but I have been making Honey Bars, playing around with assorted vintages, pairing the perfumes of the honeys with different nuts: floral with hazelnuts, herbal with pecans, smoky with black walnuts.

That’s the thing about keeping bees:  if you get any honey at all, you generally get a lot, so even though last year was a total bust we’re in no danger of running out.

The thing that’s in danger is the bees. And as Bill points out in this guest post, the first wave of threats is already pawing away at the doorstep.

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