The preparations for spring begin early on the farm. As soon as the Christmas tree comes down I start planning and plotting my garden. I spend the dark days of January exploring seed catalogs, on-line wholesale plant sites and craigslist for new farm tools. The best part of January is the unreality of the upcoming reality of spring. In January I can imagine a massive garden where everything grows, there are no pests, the heat doesn't shrivel everything green to dust. What a fun and magical time to be a farmer!
Then...slowly the days grow longer, the air doesn't have quite the same bite and the reality of the work that is set before me comes knocking. All my grand plans take a great amount of preparation and work. By February the seeds need to be ordered, the supplies purchased and the growing house needs cleaned. However, in the reality of what is to come I love to remember a quote that I read some years ago:
"To watch the corn grow, or the blossoms set; to draw hard breath over the plough or spade; to read, to think, to love to pray, are things that make (women) men happy" - John Ruskin