What says "spring" to you? Is it the first robin, the leafing trees, a shocking patch of creeping phlox? For me, it's gardening season.
There's something about gardening, particularly food gardening, that makes me believe in possibilities. I'm not sure why growing vegetables gives me this feeling more than growing flowers does, but there you go. I'm not nearly as excited seeing a marigold pop up through the dirt as I am a tomato or an onion or a cornstalk.
It'll be a while before we see cornstalks, but preparations have begun. My neighbor tilled the garden with his big tractor on Saturday while my husband and I were at a luncheon, and I wasted very little time getting the baby Mantis tiller out Sunday to see how it would work out.
May I just say ... it worked very well!
I'm creating a series of raised beds, as I did for the garlic. There will be 32 altogether, and right now I'm an eighth of the way finished. The weather will be great all week – low- to mid-60s during the day – meaning it won't be too hot outside to complete the project by the weekend. Then I can plant some stuff. It's too early for tomatoes, but they're doing quite well in their little peat pots indoors. Now's the time for lettuce, cabbage, peas and potatoes, and I might actually be a little late with those. But you can't plant until the soil has been tilled and now that that's done, I'm anxious to get my hands dirty.
I'm not used to this kind of work. Sitting on one's ass in front of a computer monitor doesn't prepare one for the hard physical labor of shoveling and raking and hoeing, oh my, and it certainly doesn't prepare one's arm muscles for using a garden tiller. My biceps and shoulders ached all night. But the best way to get over it is to get back on the horse, so to speak, so I'll be out there again today.
Food was pretty decent this weekend. Because we had the luncheon on Saturday and dinner with friends last night, we really didn't eat any other meals. I'm reluctant to check the scale. I feel good and I don't want to be disappointed by that dratted number. So I'm staying as far away from it as possible ... in the garden.