May 3rd, 2010

farmer

Gardening Hiatus

One reason why I love my job is because no two years are ever alike. The snowpack this year is very similar to last year. The one big difference is that by this time last year, the rivers and streams were swollen by rapidly melting snow fueled by temperatures 20 degrees above average. This year we are about 20 degrees BELOW average. I had plans to get the garden fully planted over the weekend, but a freeze warning on Friday night put an end to those plans. We went from highs near 80 to lows near 30. Ahhh! You gotta love the high desert. Combine a cold front with very low humidity and nice clear skies and you get temperatures plummeting to critical levels. Fortunately I had only planted the zucchini and cucumbers last weekend and they hadn't sprouted yet. Hopefully they survived.

Kitty and I made the rounds of the "big box" stores on Saturday looking for seedlings. I was extremely disappointed by the selection. It seems that 4- and 6-packs of tomato and pepper plants are becoming things of the past. Everyone is going to single plants. That's not a horrible thing per se, but at $3/pop and my wanting about 20 plants, it would be cheaper to just buy produce all Summer at a farmers' market. Fortunately I remembered a local nursery, and we decided to see what they had. It was awesome! They had an entire greenhouse stocked with veggies. There were dozens of types of peppers and tomatoes as well as eggplant. I bought a great 6-pack of tomatoes with 6 different varieties. So now I'm jazzed to get everything into the ground and growing. All I need now is a little cooperation from Mother Nature.