I have always been fond of February. The light has noticeably changed and spring is imminent. This year, however, the incredibly warm days are quite a treat. I have snow drops in full bloom and several patches of early crocuses. Witch hazel is blooming everywhere. Often people confuse it with forsythia which will come a bit later. I did cut some twigs of both quince and forsythia for forcing in the house. I suppose it is time to tidy up the boxes and pots. The Christmas greens are looking rather weary.

I started pruning the fruit trees. Good thing, as I noticed a few casings of the heinous caterpillar which decimated all the apples last year. I need to drag out the sprayer to apply some dormant oil. Honestly, I do not believe the ground froze at all this winter — just a few days of a cold crust.

In October, I seeded some carrots in the unheated hoop house and am pulling some beautiful roots. They are not large, perhaps three inches, but a welcome treat.

Also, some mache has reseeded in the paths of the aforementioned hoop house. I think I planted it a year ago and never picked it. It is a great addition to salad. It is also known as corn salad.

I have yet to figure out the need for the burlap wrappings on the evergreens. First of all, aren’t they called evergreens for a reason? One year we put burlap on a long row of hydrangeas hoping to protect them from deer and a spring freeze. Sadly, the stalks poked through the burlap and when we removed it many of the buds came off with it. I do get the need to guard against snow damage but I would imagine rope would be enough wrapped around a shrub.

I am rapidly filling the greenhouse with seedlings. So far I have onions, leeks and perennial flowers. If I had heat at night I most likely would really get ahead of myself with peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. Thankfully, a nightly freeze puts the brakes on me.

A while ago, a popular phrase was “at the end of the day.” I always said, you mean tonight? Now, every newscaster says, “going forward.” I guess that means tomorrow?

I have noticed daylilies already poking through the ground and the deer have nibbled them to the quick. I picture them on their bony knees trying to get every last shoot.

This past summer I pureed and froze several Mermaid Farm yogurt containers full of zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. They are cooking down as I write to make some pizza sauce. I try to make a few pizza crusts when I make bread for just such an occasion. It’s great to have a little summer happening in the stove when it is chilly outside.

This week was Presidents Day. I am taking a break from even thinking about the current occupant of that high office. Rather, I am thinking about Jimmy Carter. I loved when he put on his cardigan and turned the heat down in the White House. He put 32 solar panels on the White House. Ronald Reagan promptly had them removed and thrown away. Still Jimmy persisted. Never mind he has been a tireless goodwill ambassador throughout the world. He started the Habitat for Humanity organization. He was instrumental in the eradication of Guinea worm. He has donated 10 acres of land in Plains, Ga. and filled them with a solar farm. It is supplying the town with electricity.

Now, into his ninth decade, he teaches Sunday School at the hometown Maranatha Baptist Church to 300 or 400 folks every Sunday morning.

I imagine when he gets to the Pearly Gates, he will get a rousing “Well Done.”