Bare ground? Check.
Flats of tomato and pepper seedlings started? Check.
First robins in the yard? Check.
First bulbs coming into bloom? Check.
A little more snow on those bulbs? Check.
Must be springtime in Maine.
Yes, the sun is higher in the sky, and you can feel its warmth even when the temperature is below freezing. Those perilous icicles are long gone, and the only winter snow we have left is the mound left by the plow, and in the woods where the sun can’t get through. And my favorite thing – you can actually smell the earth again.
Over the weekend I pulled a nice batch of carrots out of a raised bed in our hoop house. We usually have carrots all through the winter, but with the heavy snow, I couldn’t even get the door open. Believe it or not, even in an unheated plastic hoop house, we can usually get some fresh food in the dead of winter. Everything goes dormant, and if I mulch well with straw, I can keep things in good shape.
Usually by now, the carrots break dormancy and start to re-grow. They don’t get any bigger. Instead, they sprout fresh white root hairs all along the carrot. I suppose they do this to prepare for their second year of growth when biennials, like carrots, send up a flowering stalk and set seed.
A few of my carrots were starting this spring root surge, but most were stout, fresh, fragrant and delicious. I grow red, orange, and white carrots, and they were “some yummy” – the perfect way to end the first day of spring.
And now this…