As a kid, I always looked forward to springtime. Winter didn’t just mean less sunlight and standing at a bus stop early in the morning in a red down jacket trying to quickly mound up disparate flurries and street gravel into soggy battlements that would derail any school bus on its journey of despair. For me, winter meant that I had to sleep in thick pajamas and wear socks to bed because our newly programmed thermostat turned off the heat in the middle of the night. Spring – with it’s chirping orange-breasted robins sitting on bright blue eggs, or unstuck wooden windows, or green grass growing, meant that I wouldn’t sweat away 10 pounds under Amish-patterned quilts and flannel PJs. It also meant baseball tryouts and that perhaps this would be the year I would be allowed to cut the grass with the riding mower. But for farmers – be they east, west, or the central USA – springtime means more than just a bit of warmth and fun. It means true concern about the possibility of nighttime cold (and I don’t mean the kind you cure with Nyquil). One of our farmers in Biglerville, PA summed it up recently like this:
“While the entire east coast is basking in 70 plus degree days and LOTS of sunshine, we’re very nervous. Our season appears to be running nearly 3 weeks ahead of schedule and while this might not seem all bad, it is very worrisome as we always have the fear of frosts – generally through the full moon in May. A hard frost when we are in or just past full bloom could be very, very damaging on a fruit set. So while you’re enjoying the great weather (and we are too), say a little prayer that we don’t dip too cold overnights!”
So let’s all keep our fingers crossed that spring stays warm and that old Jack Frost gets his bus stopped by kind bees fortifying April with walls of pollen and cannons filled with honeysuckle. See what’s in your mix this week – or click on the ladybug. Enjoy and be fruitful!
– Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org