Pre Spring

First trays planted in the greenhouse... and so it begins.

 Good friend, neighbor and writer Tom Hines describes the start of a cycle at Frog Holler he has witnessed many times.

 Pre Spring
                The boys won’t say much.  They’ll build a wood fire in the green house and plant seeds.  They’ll keep it warm enough over night and water it in the day.  They’ll bring in wood to make heat in the blower stove and try to limit use of propane fuel.  They’ll bring in wood for the boiler which warms water circulating through the thick concrete table top which warms soil trays of planted seeds.  They won’t look at the gauges, they’ll feel the warming concrete table and put a finger in the soil and look at the sprouting green.   They’ll mix soil, maybe some well aged compost and manure , maybe some swamp muck mixed with store-bought soil from the Amish two states away, soil always old and new, a learning blend, rich and lush, filled with hope and new life.  How many trays today, this week, this month?  Not too many, not too few, not too soon, not too late.  The herbs, over at the side looking throw-away disheveled begin to peek out, coming back to life.  Tomato seeds, countless varieties, they keep track of them, saying their enchanted names each with a blessing.  And basil, they wonder, ‘Will we ever have enough’ and contemplate the fun all summer  pronouncing  ‘basil’ whichever way.     Helpers will dribble in over early chilly months for lots of transplanting, lots of wonderful successes, some failures, some soil ‘too hot’ or plants ‘not happy’, an ongoing mystery.  Still the mixing, watering, heating, identifying--   the grow of a season, unlike any other season, all new and blushing, plants will begin crowing like young roosters, awaiting transplant to gardens all about.  As for now, ‘Yes’, the boys think, ’It is good, let’s try it again’.


  1. Pre-spring is the most optimistic time of the year for us. Its all about anticipation of warmth and the six months ahead.


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