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Thursday, March 22, 2012

The beginning of Spring!

!Happy  spring! With the equinox just passed on Tuesday and the New Moon coming tomorrow, who could think of a better time to stir up life and plant the seeds of change!

To continue the metaphor, remember that new habits take time, just like seedlings. Sometimes there are setbacks, in the garden and in life. But putting some thought into how you would like your lift to progress over the next months, making concrete plans to move in that direction and then beginning to implement them is in harmony with the Universe (and our gardens) so GO FOR IT! Whether or not you fire up the altar, burn candles, tie knots, toast the Gods with beer, wine or apple cider, you will be working in tune with the natural order of life.

Here at Hearthfire Hill, we are working towards a more orderly week, better health and efficiently completed tasks. Mother Nature has given us a preview of late spring/early summer (I'll call it a "Pagan Spring", akin to the "Indian Summer" that we cherish in the autumn.) with record-shattering, unseasonable temperatures that are set to return to more normal levels soon. I hear other places, where the current Maine weather would be more at home, have seen snow and records in the opposite direction. Climate change in action, it seems...

Though the tractor will begin tilling in the garden tomorrow, I will wait to see what the next few days hold, and monitor soil temperatures before beginning seeding the "as early as the ground can be worked" crops.. .though seed them I shall, in small amounts. Succession plantings will follow. I see seed potatoes are in the stores. Who would have thought it possible -- even likely -- to be able to plant them on the traditional "Good Friday" date in Maine! I am reminded of a garden blog post of a farming friend a few years ago when I was a newly arrived Maine resident. My friend Robin  wrote about hardiness zones and the confusion folks have about their relationship (or lack of it) with planting dates. Apparently somewhere it is written that in our zone (4) you are supposed to be able to plant peas on St.Patrick's day. Robin shared a photo of some peas, duly planted in a furrow she had hacked out in the snowbank that covered her garden. It was, of course, a joke... We had a VERY deep snow cover that year and below the 30-some inches of frozen white lay thoroughly frozen earth. This year, I could almost have done it,  especially had I prepared a raised bed that might have drained as it thawed. Spring in Maine is not called "mud season" for nothing!

The last frost/first frost dates that are published are only averages, after all... fictional numbers that may not actually have been in the samples from which the data was taken. When we push the seasons, though, we are taking a risk. Hopefully mine will be a well calculated one, for the lettuces and other hardy crops that I will put a bit of in the ground. Never fear, I will be doing most of my seeding in soil cubes for later planting out, though.

Hoffman variant, Double Creators Star, 14" indoor
Protection and Abundance, 14" indoor
And with the three just completed hex signs on the way to their new owners in MN and VA, and an indoor Hoffman variant of the Double Creator's Star (above) ready for immediate shipment -- order via www.dutchhexsign.com -- I am ready to start working on two versions of my new Growth hex. One will be a wood version for exterior display and the other, painted on a rock for my daughter.

Double Creator's Star, binds the
blessings of prosperity, 10" indoor
Earth Blessing 12" outdoor