This has been somewhat of an unusual winter. We got a lot of snow early, then nothing until January. Since then we’ve had plenty, including record-breaking snow in February. Now we’re entering March, which to most people is finally the start of spring; for us, it’s traditionally our snowiest month. At least the weather gets much milder between snowstorms, but still. If our whole winter was shifted by a month, then we might actually be home free into summer! But I won’t hold my breath, though. :p

However, while I am skeptical about a milder than usual March, I can’t help but catch a little spring fever from the clear signs of spring I’ve seen. Yesterday, it was supposed to snow a few inches, but it didn’t do anything here. Now the forecast into the weekend is a slow drift toward 60, where it will be for a few days. I could swear I see a few tiny tips of green from new irises springing up in the flower bed. I’ve also seen my first baby calves recently, a sure sign of spring that I look forward to every year! The days are getting longer, too. While I remain realistic about the likely weather events we will yet have, I’ve decided to defy March; I’m hedging my bets and making a few tentative plans.

While the average last frost date isn’t until May 15, I have this insatiable urge to plant something now! And with some careful planning and ingenious tricks, I am going to outsmart March and get some stuff growing. My plan is to plant some lettuce in containers. Lettuce actually prefers the cool weather and won’t do well once the snow stops and the temperatures immediately soar (there’s no intermediate spring-with-no-snow period here). Therefore, sowing into portable containers will allow me to grow them on the deck during these sunny, near-60 days and pull them inside if it gets below freezing. Using three or four containers, I can stagger my planting so I have some plants maturing all the time instead of more than I can eat all at once. And then, when the weather is finally warm enough, I can begin to sow everything in our normal garden plot while already enjoying a few fruits of my labor. Clever, eh?

I’ve never grown lettuce before, but I eat a ton of greens, so this is quite exciting for me. I’m incredibly hopeful that home-grown lettuce will be yummier than store-bought, because, I’ll be honest, I eat it but I don’t love it. We’ll give it a try, though. Last year I tried spinach and chard, also greens I eat often. They did okay but not great, but I’m determined to give them another go. This morning I bought lettuce, chard, and spinach seeds at the local hardware store, so I am ready to get my green thumb on.

So maybe I can get a few seeds into soil this weekend so they can have a few warmer days to germinate outside. There is nothing like fresh, new life poking out of the dead landscape to give one renewed vigor and hope that this desolate time will soon be over. I could say the same about my thesis as well…