By LYNNE IRONS
Nature is so forgiving. The fields and roadsides have greened up this past week as if they never knew winter. Let me say, in defense of cold, dreary weather, my snowdrops and crocus have been looking great for three weeks. I remember a few years ago my tulips were coming into full bloom and we had a record 90-degree day. They promptly fried and were gone by the next morning.
Both the bleeding hearts and mertensia have broken ground. I love them at all stages. The mertensia (Virginia blue bells) are particularly nice. They jump around and fill in the spring beds with some real substance. Bleeding hearts are a favorite of children.
I have been happily dining on kale, chard, and spinach that wintered-over in the unheated greenhouse. I sauté the three together for a nanosecond in my new favorite dressing, Braggs ginger and sesame. It can be found in the Annie’s section at the right hand side of the aisle at Cronig’s down-Island.
I have an incredible crop of wild onions. I have given up trying to weed them. They break off midway and spawn more. I guess when the holocaust comes, there will be plenty to eat.
No more waiting around for me. I am starting everything in flats inside except the tomatoes and peppers. I tend to be late with them as I don’t like them getting too large and leggy before they can be transplanted. No matter, we have a long fall and some local farmer will have some for sale early.
Don’t do as I do! I am about a month late but I went crazy with apple tree pruning last week. A good rule is to only cut crossing, rubbing and dead branches. It is suggested to take only about a third of what needs to go the first year. This will prevent over-production of suckers also known as water spouts. I had a new sharp pruning saw. Need I say more?
We had a great turnout at last Saturday’s garden workday at the charter school — there is nothing quite like many hands. Children, parents and grandparents are toiling for the common good.
I have a lovely deep pink quince planted over the grave of an old beagle. I cut some branches to force few weeks back, they bloomed on Palm Sunday inside and were pure white. Another quirk of nature.
I am fond of newspapers. The Cape Cod Times has stopped home delivery as have many publications both large and small. How sad! I love the feel of the paper — rustling through to find a favorite columnist, fighting over the Sunday funnies with a sibling, commuters in mid-town Manhattan reading while holding a subway strap, sharing sections with strangers in coffee shops, or reading front page headlines in a market queue. My parents, nearing 90 years of age, have enjoyed their morning coffee with the Bradford Era spread on the kitchen table as long as I can remember.
I was thinking about the job losses at these various publishing houses. Not only the printers and delivery people but the reporting staff is cut. It seems that many of the blogs and online reporting of the news are rehashes of someone else’s work. Is investigative journalism becoming a thing of the past?
The press is the only private institution protected in the United States Constitution. Our nation’s creation was engendered by angry and well-versed newspaper editors and pamphleteers. The press can be a spokesperson for the defenseless — an attorney so to speak. It creates dialogue.
Speaking of dialogue, I need to put in my two cents concerning an end to alcohol prohibition in Tisbury. If I were a drinking woman (and I am not, thank God) in the present economy I would rather bring my own bottle into an eating establishment than pay the exorbitant price for one glass of brew or bubbly. I worked for 20 years in a very busy restaurant in Vineyard Haven. Five or six patrons come to mind in all those years who were truly disgruntled. Diners at nearby tables shared glasses of wine, folks sent for taxi deliveries with much good cheer directed at the driver, or many came the next evening with a favorite beverage tucked snuggly under their arm. This is, in my personal opinion, about supporting a few business people who could simply improve their food and service to draw in the crowds.
With that, my two cents goes back into my pocket.