I can tell spring is coming by the way the daylight is shifting. I'm not talking so much about the length of the day, though that, too. It's just the color, the direction, the intensity. It's one of the reasons people say, "Spring is in the air."
I have mixed feelings about spring which is odd since I'm one of those people who suffers through the darkness of the winter months. But even though that's true, winter is a wonderful hibernation of sorts, a respite from the planting, tending and harvesting seasons that come with warmer months. In the final weeks of February, I cling to the what's left of the break, knowing it will soon be over.
The visual interest today is a photo taken last summer of Brahm. He's holding some carrots he planted a few months before that. They are a fuschia colored variety we ordered from a catalog. I'd tell you the name but it escapes me at the moment. Each spring the boys pick out a few seed packets from the catalogs I like best (Seed Savers and Seeds of Change) with names that interest them: Sweet Chocolate and Golden Treasure peppers, Strawberry spinach, Mountain Sweet Yellow watermelon, Double Rich tomatoes and Ten Commandment gourds are a few among them. (Brahm still remembers with relish the moment Oliver bit into a Sweet Chocolate only to be horribly disappointed.)
I'll pull out my starter mix and heat mat here shortly, but not yet. I'll squeeze a few more long naps out of winter before it's officially over - and that's not for another month.
www.seedsavers.org for a variety of rare and heirloom seeds
www.seedsofchange.com for heirloom and organic choices
Here's my top 10 list of heirloom tomatoes in no particular order
1. Cherokee Purple
2. Kellogg's Breakfast
3. Hillbilly Potato Leaf
4. Federle Paste
5. Green Grape
6. Dr. Wyche's Yellow
7. Wapsipinicon Peach
8. Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter
9. Hawaiian Pineapple
10. Aunt Ruby's German Green
Oh, and the name of Brahm's carrot (I had to look it up) is Dragon. No wonder he added it to his list!