It’s impressive and heartening how many Nelson County residents have vegetable gardens, although it is striking to me how few plant spring vegetables.  Apart from summer tomatoes, snap and snow peas are probably my favorite veggie to grow and eat; I planted several trellis’ worth in the first week of March, and we should be munching on them by mid-May.  Lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, and turnips, also planted from seed, are all coming along, as well as cilantro, parsley, collards, and kohlrabi, which I started under grow lights in February and transplanted into the garden a week ago.  The biggest job was planting 20 pounds of seed potatoes (we just ate our last potato from last year’s harvest this past week).  This year’s varieties are: Satina, Carola, Yukon Gold, and Kennebec.

After our mild winter, we’ve had an unusually warm early spring.  Daffodils started blooming in the first week in February, and many trees and shrubs have begun flowering several weeks earlier than normal.  This is always a beautiful time of year, with our forsythia, weeping cherry, crabapple, serviceberries, and dogwoods bursting with color.  And our apple trees (a retirement gift from my department at Rutgers) have apple blossoms for the first time.

Our chickens continue to keep us well-stocked with eggs, and three frogs have taken up residence in our little backyard pond.  Five-lined skinks are all around, and bluebirds and chickadees appear to be setting up shop in our bird houses.  Our local pileated woodpeckers continue to make periodic appearances. Monika and I have been undertaking several major projects in the back, most notably so far a rock and pebble path out to the kennel and chicken coop.

Long-time friends from Vermont, Jan and Harris, visited us in the third week of March, followed by a delightful family gathering with Eleanor, Justin, Katherine, Nic, and Alison.  With beautiful weather almost every day, our early spring has been lovely, although most everyone around here is concerned about the relative lack of rainfall.

See more pictures here