Will This Cold Ever End?

May 1st, 2019

I wake up at the crack of dawn and stare out our bedroom window at the cold gray sky.  A gentle mist coats the world outside in a blanket of wetness and I know how this day is going to shake out.  Cold hands, wet feet, stiff back.  For the last couple of days we have been battling the elements. This spring of ours has come in fits and spurts.  Just when we thought it might be changing, we were slapped with another day of snow.  It didn’t last, but it made it’s mark by delaying yet another planting.  As Joy and I look back at our carefully laid out garden plan, a pattern begins to emerge, one of constant delays.  It started right at the beginning of the season with plantings in our greenhouses delayed due to frozen soil.  Usually the soil in our greenhouse is ready to rock by mid February, but not this year.  Then in March, our first planting of cucumbers succumbed to a stretch of cold weather even with it’s greenhouse protection.  The same might have happened to our tomatoes if we hadn’t looked ahead at the forecast because this last weekend we saw overnight temperatures in the low twenties.  Thankfully Joy, with the help of my friend Mic and my mother, got all of our crops covered so we only lost a little section of early basil.  Such is life as a gardener in Wisconsin. We roll with it, knowing almost certainly our day in the warm sun will come.  Our lost crops will get replanted along with all the other crops until finally we are caught up.  It’s a never ending dance growing food in this beautiful state and really sometimes I think I’ve been doing this work so long I have to continue to remind myself it is only the beginning of May.  Soon enough, asparagus will be popping and the tangy taste of Rhubarb will grace our tables, then strawberries, tomatoes and all the rest of the bounty.  For now we count our blessings for the tasty greens and aromatic ramps, and the crunchy radish which bursts with a mild spring flavor.  As I shake off the last of the daily chills and sip a frosty brew, I dream of warmer days and all that is to come.  

~Farmer Rufus