It’s finally happened. On Tuesday as it warmed into the 40s and snow began to melt, the light changed enough to herald spring. I finally got free from the sense of inertia that resulted from cold, snow and Covid.

While waiting in the drive-through at the North Tisbury MV Savings Bank, I saw a small flock of Eastern bluebirds. They were the first I noticed this year.

I rarely if ever purchase cut flowers. I’m happy with my own or some almost-blooming forced twigs of quince and/or forsythia. As you can see from Violet’s photo this week, I bought some red tulips — couldn’t resist. They are so cheerful.

For many years I bought the cancer support group’s daffodils from the late Dorothy Bangs. They were a wonderful beginning to the upcoming season. This year’s sale has been moved to a later date with perhaps fall flowers because of — you know — Covid.

For some reason Marie ordered onion plants but meant to get sets. The company may have mixed up. At any rate the plants arrived way too early. We split them up and decided to plant them in flats inside the unheated greenhouse. Otherwise they would have languished waiting for snow to melt and ground to thaw. They were the now out-of-stock copra, so we are hopeful for a good crop. The variety is no longer available as seeds so we were lucky to get any. It’s a long-keeping yellow onion that I’ve planted for years. It has been replaced with Cortland and Patterson. I’ve started seeds of both and they are coming right along. Good thing as I have maybe three or four more meals left from last summer’s harvest.

Sadly, I can use my own potatoes one more time, then it’s pasta and rice until the early crop is ready in June.

I have an ancient rescue dog. She loves to lie on a sunny shelf in my greenhouse but is no longer able to jump up by herself. I have to help her up and give her a couple of blankets. I’ve been seeding and transplanting of late to the sound of a snoring dog. It’s downright comforting on a sunny afternoon.

I suppose I should locate some hand saws and think about some late winter pruning. The fruit trees, blueberries and grapes are in need. I don’t think I did it with any gusto last year and they are all looking a bit shabby.

I’ve been noticing the areas in the vegetable garden that are melting first. Clearly they receive more sunlight so should receive those early plantings.

For some time I have been writing about the benefits of growing your own food. There are three major reasons. One, of course, is not saving money. I figure my own eggs probably cost $50 a dozen given food, time, coop repair and raccoon damage.

There is no doubt that the health reasons should encourage everyone as well as the pure ecological benefits. The fact that produce had to travel by fossil fuel is a huge turnoff for me.

Perhaps the most important reason and we hate to think of it — is the human toll. The gross inequality of farm labor is hard to imagine. We basically use slave labor to produce our food. The poor and/or undocumented are paid poorly in terrible conditions. For example, the meat packing and chicken processing plants have been a hotbed for the coronavirus, not to mention the danger of injury every day. It may be time to reread Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.