By LYNNE IRONS
February is my favorite month. For starters, I share a birthday with Abraham Lincoln. In elementary school I was expected to memorize the Gettysburg Address and build log cabins for history projects. It has been fun this year being his 200th birthday. He looks good for his age, don’t you think? I love the fondness our new president has for the Emancipator.
The change of light has become very apparent. The other evening with a full moon on the new snow was simply lovely. The setting sun gave a pink hue to the entire landscape.
As I have mentioned before, I have no patience. I couldn’t wait while it was being passed out. At any rate, I have started full-on seeding in the greenhouse. Although it has no heat and freezes absolutely solid every night, several flats have germinated. I do use a propagating mat which provides bottom heat for the just-seeded. I set it at 45 degrees. I have had success with lettuce, spinach, mache, and beets. I painstakingly transplanted the tweensie babies into large pots and tops. They are not moving along but they have not died. A few days last week they never thawed even though it was sunny and maybe 50 degrees in the hoop house.
I also started up some perennials (foxgloves, yarrow, potentilla, malva and larkspur). The yarrow emerged in less than a week. I wanted to get a head start for my little business.
Irritatingly I bought onions at the supermarket. In years past I have grown enough to last until spring. This was not one of those years. I started a couple of varieties from seed already (Yellow of Parma and New York Early Yellow Globe). It is tedious work to transplant into the garden in the spring but an entire year’s supply can be grown for under $10.
The icy footing has caused quite a few accidents. I heard that over 300 broken bones were treated at the Cape Cod hospital and close to 100 here. Tread carefully, everyone! Thanks to Helen Green for sharing her gratitude concerning her broken back. What a good sport! She fractured two disks sledding with her daughter, Olivia. She commented that at least she was doing something fun. Speedy recovery, Helen. Because there isn’t much else in the gardening world, indulge me, if you please. I would like to quote from my Appalachia 1986 calendar for the month of February:
Rethink how to use our freedoms
Make sure pets are loved and cared for
Make your own scarf
Make homemade noodles
Tell bedtime stories with children
Watch fuel and paper waste
Start indoor plants
Create your own baby food
Build a snowman
Take a stand on political issues
Remember that we are of the earth
To have a friend is to be one
Tell family members “I love you”
Pray for the leaders of our country
Explore world religions
Confront someone about the truth
Write a letter of cheer to a sick person
Cultivate your sense of humor
Cook with lids on pans
Protect social programs
Recycle old stationery and cards
Teach a child to recognize animal tracks in the snow
Donate your blood
Have your pet spayed
Look into organizing a parent support group
Listen to more music than TV
That’s all I’ve got this week!