Here it is — Monday morning — snowing yet again after a lovely 40 to 50 degree weekend. I went to college in Texas so pardon my next sentence. I was “fixin’” to get upset by the weather until I read the article in Saturday’s New York Times titled Amid Unending Drought, Lack of Water Has West Fearing the Worst. This is in the third year of record-breaking drought. Some say the worst in 500 years. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency and Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, has once again voiced his support for addressing climate change seriously.
Ranchers are selling off large portions of their livestock herds. The snow pack in the Sierra Nevada is only 12 per cent of normal.
Back to me. Looking out from a warm, cozy house at the snow and rain, I just got incredibly grateful as a gardener. I know how important it is to replenish the water table.
Even in July when it can be disturbingly dry here on the Vineyard, I’m able to turn on the hose and run my sprinklers.
Isn’t it ironic that California was the land of milk and honey to the escapees of the horrible Dust Bowl drought in the 1930s?
Growing up in Rew, Penn., water was an issue. Probably from all the drilling for oil. Of course no one put that together back in the day. I was taught from a very early age to never waste water. I still take two-minute showers, turn the faucet off and on while brushing my teeth or washing dishes, and draw off the cold water while waitng for it to heat up. I save that for the animals. I know this probably sounds like overkill but habits from childhood are ingrained.
All of this so I can defend my fondness for snow and rain.
On Jan. 31, we had 10 hours of sun again. It’s been since Nov. 10 that we had that much daylight. Ten hours is really the maximum light required for plant growth.
This fact sent me into my greenhouse in earnest. I seeded up several flats of field peas. When they are about two inches tall, I’ll cut them with scissors to augment salads. I also started boatloads of onions. I’m down to a mixing bowl of last year’s harvest. A person can never have enough onions. I used Copra, a long storage variety and the only hybrid in the mix, and then both yellow and white Spanish, Ailsa Craig and Yellow of Parma. I seem to have better luck with onions started from seed — not to mention the savings. Plants and sets are way more expensive.
More news from Music street . . . I saw a tiny patch of snowdrops in full bloom on Sunday, Feb. 1. I came home and scoured my yard only to find nothing. Hope springs eternal.
Thanks to Lorna Ashe. She gifted me with several paperwhite bulbs last fall. I came across them recently and now they are cheerfully blooming next to my kitchen sink. I had not planted them for several years for no reason except sheer forgetfulness. Note to self: buy more next fall!
I cannot recall a more beautiful morning than last Tuesday’s. Every tiny branch was coated with snow and/or ice and the sky was a combination of pink and blue pastels. My sorely neglected perennials have a whole new interesting allure. Spent seed heads were sparkling in the rising sun. I have an old book called The Garden In Winter. Guess it’s time to haul it out.
I was going to harp about the minimum wage once again but will save my comments for next week.
Rather, I have to say I’m fascinated by the scandals unfolding in the state of New Jersey. I feel like it’s a mini-Watergate situation. Every day something new happens. In this high-tech era, nothing seems hidden. Wonder how it will all turn out? It’s amusing to see the pundits twisting themselves into knots trying to speculate.