Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Snow Shower in March

It snowed today, and in the last week of March I can think of fewer demoralizing things.  In March you have invariably enjoyed some warm sunny days that beckon with the promise of the spring to come.  But winter has not left the scene completely and spits white fluffy stuff in your face to mess with your temperament that remains fragile from four months of long nights and cold days.  

I tell people that March is one darn fine month to visit Southern California if you can swing it.  Having regularly made that trip early in my professional career, the weather in LA during March is sunny with 70 degree days filled with beautiful vining flowers and nights that that are cool but refreshing.  The dryness of summer has not yet arrived and it is the perfect time to escape from a month that can best be described as BiPolar back home in Indiana.
Fortunately on this day as I looked out the office window to see flurries turn to a heavy snow shower I have something as uplifting as those trips to LA in days gone by.  In one window are the first 75 tomato plants and in the other are the first 75 pepper plants sprouted and well on their way to being ready set out in May.  All told 150 tomato plants and 200 pepper plants are growing or germinating for the upcoming growing season at the Acre.  350 signals of the coming warm summer evenings spent picking and washing produce that will ultimately makes its way through the Indianapolis area network of shelter kitchens. 
Last year was a challenging one for the Acre.  A wet and flooding spring spawned fungus that decimated the apple crop and drowned many of the seeds germinating out in the field.  This was followed up by nearly 8 weeks w/o measurable rainfall that punished whatever seedlings that managed to rise from the previously boggy field.  In the end we were able to pick and deliver around 750 lbs of produce to the Second Helpings Kitchen for the year, down from the 2500 lbs we delivered the year before. 
But as with every year spring brings a new sense of optimism and this year is no different, I have 350 reminders of the great things to come.  This year we plan to keep you a little more updated along the way and give you an idea of what goes into this cherished little endeavor.  Hope you can stop back by, both to the blog to track our progress and hopefully the acre itself where hopefully a harvest too big for Jenny and I alone has grown.