Spring Fever is coming!

The title says it all: I am downright antsy for spring to get here! Sometimes during class I find myself dreamily staring out the window, my mind’s eye filled with images of what our class will be growing this coming summer. I see early, dewy mornings spent harvesting veggies and hot, sultry summer afternoons hunched over weeding.

I see students happily relaxing in the grass after a hard days work and I see myself jumping over rows of plants to avoid being stung by some overzealous bee!

I’m no stranger to the rhythm of a market garden. I spent all last summer working at an organic farm. And although I was happy for the winter to arrive to give me a break from all the work, I find that I’m already looking forward again to the sweat dripping in my eyes, the calluses of my palm rubbing against the handle of my hoe as I attack weed after weed. Don’t get me wrong; as soon as that moment arrives, I’ll be cursing every patch of barnyard grass and foxtail that I see. But when you garden, you start to really look forward to each season, no matter the realties that come with that season. 

Here’s how I sum it up for folks who ask me: “Why do you Garden?”

Mid to late winter is exciting because the seed catalogs start to arrive. You don’t think about the hours you will spend hunched over them, plotting and planning your future garden. Spring is a whirlwind of activity filled with starting your seedlings indoors, preparing your garden beds and second guessing every planting date you’ve painstakingly planned. Summer is hot, hard, sweaty, and occasionally painful as you fight a never ending battle against weeds, bugs and the weather. But it’s filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and late summer evenings spent proudly surveying your garden. Fall is a beautiful time when the weather has chilled, the bugs are gone, the harvest is booming and your resting time is just around the bend. And when early winter finally arrives, you take a sigh of relief (and maybe finally go on vacation), knowing that soon enough, those seed catalogs will be arriving all over again!

Ruth Burke

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