Don’t get me wrong. I could not be happier, personally, for our non-winter. We have to admit, however, it is rather odd. I mean 60 degrees on Feb. 1! Our big snow storm of last weekend stayed on the ground a mere three days. I was going to avoid all climate change alarmist rhetoric until I saw an article in the international section of The New York Times. It seems Argentina is experiencing the worst locust plague in decades. Some of the descriptions in the article were downright biblical.

Farmers reported locust clouds of four miles long and two miles high. Ewwww. I’m the first to complain about a couple of flies in the house. One time last summer I had a praying mantis on my neck and had to take a nervy.

This is a perfect segue into my own mid-winter insect problems. I have several kale plants in the hoop house covered with tiny gray aphids. I have been rinsing them off with soapy water. I don’t remember ever dealing with insect pests in February. At least now I can look on the bright side and be grateful I don’t have four miles of locusts!

Speaking of the hoop house, on Tuesday I stripped to a tank top and weeded. It was so pleasant. There are dozens of baby red Russian kale plants here and there, as well as tiny collards. I did not plant any of them. They managed to plant themselves — how very clever of them.

I am still picking boatloads of carrots. I planted them in mid-August. I never thinned or barely weeded and cannot believe my success.

I use either Danvers Half Long heirloom seeds or the French heirloom Nantes. Both are between four and six inches long with a blunt end. I prefer them over the long tapered types which often are misshapen as they make their way around pebbles in the soil. Also, they seem less sweet.

The Tendersweet variety is long with a blunt end and is preferred by market customers. They look more traditional. We Americans tend to be suspicious of food shapes and colors which are not popular. We are loath to experiment.

I planted some spinach in the hoop house. My best spinach came the year I planted in November. It was huge and tender by February. Since I live and rarely learn I forgot to do it this November.

Planting any later than March tends to produce plants with smallish leaves and it goes to seed at about four inches tall. I hate that. It truly is a cool weather crop. I wonder where they grow our supermarket supply. I missed my calling in advertising. When I find a product I like, I’m loyal to a fault.

I cannot say enough about the hand-held blender. When I’m too lazy to chop vegetables in a pleasing and uniform fashion for a soup, they can be blended into a stock for a rich and creamy puree. A single potato or can of white beans will give the proper texture. The resulting soup can be heated in the morning and put in a thermos bottle. Later in the day, when I’m carting Violet to her various lessons and activities, a warm soup in the car saves time and money.

All of my crocuses and hyacinths are up. They are not blooming but, honestly, I expect flowers momentarily. I vowed to not get myself all crazy thinking it could damage them in some way if it ever does actually freeze solid. I am practicing acceptance.

It’s a good thing since I’m going to need an inordinate amount of acceptance to get through this election cycle. I’m done by Iowa. Seriously, how can 50,000 people actually vote for Ted Cruz? I am the first to admit I prefer the Donald over him. At least he is entertaining and likeable in a Rodney Dangerfield sort of way. See what’s happening? I’ve actually gone over the edge.

Back to Iowa, the ethanol capital of the world. Here’s a state awash in farm subsidies but all hot under the collar about government handouts to anybody else. Big agriculture is the main source of income and I might add serious non-organic, GMO methods used on all that corn.

I will never understand the media’s fascination with the rural state. I had to impose a no-watch list on myself all last week. The worst is MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He and Mika need to move over to Fox News. Oh wait, that won’t work. They are too enamored with Trump.