Spring has been a rather elusive character in this season’s opening salvo. But there are a few small glimmers of hope hither and yon. The garlic began to poke through ever so tentatively a few weeks ago only to stop cold, quite literally. This morning some of the early greens that I seeded out are popping through. Lettuces and such in short order if temperatures stabilize.
Everything else is doing a fair job of emerging but they are still hugging close to the ground for the added warmth. I’m seeing this in the nettles, violets and dandelion that are everywhere on the homestead. Even the ubiquitous mints that are can usually be found running rambunctiously over everything, are only tentative about making their debut, and only up close to the house on the south side.
Part of the seasonally ambiguity lies much further North. The Arctic Oscillation (AO) which Joe Romm explains here is essentially the cause of the prolonged or stalled weather patterns we are seeing. The warmer it gets in the Arctic the less ice, and the more moisture released into the atmosphere which affects those of us ‘downstream’. Romm states, “Such a large area of open water is bound to cause significant impacts on weather patterns, due to the huge amount of heat and moisture that escapes from the exposed ocean into the atmosphere over a multi-month period following the summer melt.” Please do visit his blog for a much more detailed explanation. I won’t go into it much further than that as my main focus here is the real time effects of AO on my wee homestead. But surely, things are changing, and I believe not for the better.
The other day on our daily walk my daughter slowed down to a near stop and lifted her nose in the air. “Mama!” she squealed, “Smell that? There are flowers on the air.” And sure enough I could smell them when I took the time to slow down and sniff the air also. The trees are beginning to flower here. Spring will unfurl eventually, but I think we’ll wind up with the type of season that goes from cold-wet-grey to hot-dry-blue. It makes for interesting conversations, but when growing food such extremes are less useful.
Wishing you all a good growing season no matter if you are growing tomatoes on your patio, herbs on your windowsill or acres of various food. Anyone who takes the time to plant a seed in the ground is an optimist who is willing to take action…and the world needs as many of those as possible.