from the ground up

Warming our winter bones

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This time of year, in our Northern scapes, we oscillate.  Last week, we basked in bright sunshine.  We bared our arms, legs, and faces to draw in the warmth. We donned our shades and discussed sprinklers and lawns as though it were mid-July. Then….we were sharply reminded that it is in fact still early spring here.  As the littles say, “Jack Frost came back”, the weather shifted.  We are back indoors to shirk the  strong winds, cold rain…and yes, more snow.  But our small greenhouse, just out our back door, reminds of warmth on the way, we can feel it.

Some days, we trudge out the door in our boots and coat, through deep snow, and very shortly begin peeling off layers. In our arid climate, about 51% of our days are sun-filled.  Midday, if the sun is shining, the greenhouse is warm.  Often it is hot, too hot.  We prop the door open halfway or all the way and let the cool air in. The plants savor the heat, but not at 114 degrees!  They prefer the mid 70’s F.  Don’t we all!

Then in a blink, swift-moving clouds fill our blustery valley and we dash out to close the door. Keeping the humid, warm air tucked inside for ourselves and of course the plants.  But sure enough, here is the sun again.  Ah, the shiver of warmth on cold.  Back out we go, breathing in the green, checking for dry soil.  From March until July, we repeat this again and again.

Lucky plants!  Lucky us.


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