Spring is here (and then it wasn’t)

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The last few weeks we’ve had some sunny warm days in the 60s and 70s.

The bluebirds have returned, as have the robins.

The grass is turning green, the tulips are sprouting, and the daffodil buds are almost ready to bloom.

Spring is here!???????????????????????????????

A week ago, last Monday, I came home to discover the surest sign that spring has arrived: my honeybees were returning to the hive carrying pellets of pale yellow pollen on their legs. They probably found some willow or birch blooming down in our canyon.

I opened the hives to see how they are doing. I  found that one of the queens is already laying eggs and even has some capped brood (baby bees). The other queen hasn’t started laying but gosh did she look plump and fat- she is probably full of eggs. I expect that she will begin laying soon.

My bees are good girls!

Last weekend, I tilled in the composted manure and prepared our raised beds . I planted my peas planted as well as my outside spinach. A slight frost won’t hurt them.

Planting season has begun!

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???????????????????????????????We already have been harvesting fresh salad greens from the hoop greenhouse for several weeks. There is nothing like eating fresh homegrown salad of spinach, arugula, Tai tsoi, lettuce, claytonia, mache, and baby kale.

We’ve also have continued to dig fesh carrots right out of the garden. Last year I planted a variety of orange, yellow and purple carrots.

When cold weather came, I covered the carrots with a foot of straw and then clear plastic to keep in the warm of the sun and prevent the ground from freezing solid. After several weeks of cold weather, the starch in the carrots is converted to sugar.

Carrots wintered underground are the sweetest you’ll ever taste.

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Eating locally grown foods is an emerging trend- well there is nothing more local than eating what we’ve grown ourselves a hundred yards out our back door, now is there?

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My transplants have been started including peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks and onions.

In a few weeks, the leeks, onions and cabbage family will go outside into the garden- they can tolerate a mild frost.

Already I can see the garlic and fava beans I planted last fall beginning to sprout from the ground where they spent all winter.

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The tomatoes. peppers and eggplant will go in the hoop house a couple of weeks before our last frost date (around mid-May).

Then after all of the warm sunny weather we’ve had, this week we had a early spring blizzard. The clinic was closed for two days. Nothing to do but stay home and catch up on inside stuff.

???????????????????????????????Everyone was actually looking forward to the snow. we have been in such a drought, all precipitation is welcome. Plus, the snow from these late winter/early srping storms melts in a day or two.

The Rapid city airport got 25 inches of snow. Unfortunately and as usual, we didn’t get quite as much as everyone else got- we got maybe a foot of snow- if that.

Winter is not over yet, there is still a chance we could get another storm in the next couple of weeks.

To be honest, I’d welcome getting another couple of feet (after our current snow melts).

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