25 March 2013

Happy New Year!

In England, in years gone by, March 25 (Lady Day) was the day when the calendar changed over from one year to the next. It wasn't until 1752 that the official start to the year became the first day of January. Lady Day was the first of four 'quarter days' when you would have paid your rent and if you were going to be moving to a new farm, you would have done so on this day, ready for the start of the new growing year.

Here in southern Ontario, the ground is nowhere near ready for ploughing or sowing yet. But in the shelter of a greenhouse, it's a different matter. A few days of sunshine have nudged temperatures up and we're starting to see peas and greens poking through the soil surface.

The sorrel, parsley and Tuscan kale has survived the winter in the greenhouse.

I harvested some of the kale and sorrel for my lunch.

The slow warm-up over the last few days has melted a lot of the lingering snow outside. Enough to tempt the chickens back into the orchard again, at least.

I'm hopeful that the slower spring this year might be good news for the fruit trees: they're less likely to be nipped by a late frost. We've lost a few of our young trees in the last year or two, so one thing I'd like to do this year is plant a few more.

Indoors, I've got pepper and eggplant seedlings up and I sowed more than 300 tomato seeds at the weekend. From a gardening point of view, this week definitely feels like the start of a new year, even if the calendar disagrees!

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