There is not much to be said for this retirement-age body. I garden for other people all week and then try to do my own over the weekend. I wonder when I started the pathetic, one-step-at-a-time coming down to my breakfast? I do remember the day I last jumped off the back of the truck. I admit I’m a bit of a poor sport about dragging reading glasses around to figure out plant labels and seed catalogs. I don’t envision a particularly bright future for any of these behaviors. The good news is I do seem to enjoy things more.

Speaking of enjoyment — several of my globe artichokes made it through the winter. I had covered them with a double layer of Reemay and enclosed the bed with bales of hay. Keep in mind, however, we did have a mild winter. I do not believe we dipped into the single digits at all. Nobody believes me when I say such things because it was rainy, snowy and gloomy a great deal of the time, but all in all, the temperatures held steady.

There is a great flurry of activity all over town. Closed-for-the-season businesses are spiffing up and receiving their inventory. I noticed huge progress in the making at Eden Garden Center. The nurseries are open for business with bulbs and pansies for sale. I confess, even with all my seedlings at home, I could not resist the temptation to purchase a couple flats of pansies. They are so cheerful and last forever if kept dead-headed. I have several blooming left over from last spring. They will make it even in large pots and window boxes. I just insert the Christmas greens around them in December and when removed, the pansies and Johnny-jump-ups green right up.

I was happy to notice my star magnolia beginning to bloom. While driving through North Tisbury I saw a beautiful specimen at Richie and Lydia Olsen’s place. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a larger one. Then, of course, the magnolia soulangeana at the bottom of the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road is about to burst. I point it out every year, it is so striking.

With all the forsythia in full color, I, once again, have to plead with a few folks. People, please, stop pruning them into globes and squares. Just let them have their natural fountain shape. After blooming, you can cut some of the other branches right to the ground. A few arching young branches will suffice.

I dug the last of the parsnips. They were still firm. I love that I ate them with a nice salad of young spring greens. The meeting of two garden seasons in one meal. I also ate a carrot left in the ground over the winter. It was a bit mealy but still very flavorful.

I am trying to restrain myself somewhat. It seems early for the temperatures to be climbing steadily. We haven’t had a nighttime freeze in a couple of weeks. I hope I don’t get too smug and start putting the tenders out without protection. One year I recall I lost all my pepper plants for such behavior.

Speaking of peppers — I have outdone my own self. I must have over a dozen varieties and have saved every one.

Charlene Douglas has been kind to share some space in her beautiful old glass greenhouse. Nobody seems to have glass anymore, what with the ease and affordability of plastic film. Charlene’s has the old iron wheels that open the windows and cedar benches at the perfect height. I’m downright covetous.

I noticed a hoop house in the newly-fenced garden space at the Scottish Bakehouse. They intend to grow much of their own food this year for the great lunch and dinner take-out business. Danielle has been committed to using local produce, meat and eggs for some time now.

On Saturday, I saw a young man with an orchid in hand climbing into a huge dump truck at the blinker. He had purchased it from the spectacular collection at the back of Wendy Oliver’s vehicle.

I often receive comments concerning my various political rants and raves. The growing of our own food is political in this country. For decades we have turned over our personal power. As a nation, it seems we have lost the ability, not only to do for ourselves but to think up our own opinions. The cable 24-hour news cycle with a lot of punditry and political subjectiveness has reshaped the nature of journalism.

As far as food, we thoughtlessly fill our shopping carts without reading ingredients or place of origin. Even the so-called organic and free-range products are often grown under less than humane practices. Our immigration policies need to be addressed. I don’t believe I have bought grapes since the 1970s Grape Boycott campaign in support of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. Why listen to me? I’m a nut case.

By the way, those comments are for the most part very positive. I love being among kindred spirits. The Vineyard rocks!