2010: Are the Gods Smiling?


Springs have been tricky in my part of the world in recent years–rainy, cold, and late.  Last year, I lost many of my vegetable seedlings to a frost June 1.  

And climate scientists say that Northeasterners can expect more of the same–high precipitation events that make spring crops problematic.

This year, however, possibly feeling some sense of remorse for their cruelty in adding late blight to the horrible weather last year or just embarrassment for the overkill, the gods have sent us an early spring.

So early, that I have not felt guilty about stomping around on the soil in my vegetable garden even in April and have three quarters of the garden already weeded and mulched.  In an ordinary April, I'd be struggling to pry clumps of grass out of soppy clay and turning my soil into cement in the process.

The mache is already bolting, the rhubarb ready for crisp-making, and I saw my first asparagus spear last weekend.

Thanks to my ability to maneuver around the garden early and push seeds into the ground, already emerging are

  1. Spinach, naturally
  2. Arugula, even–that one is less certain this early
  3. Peas of all kinds
  4. Fava beans
  5. Radishes
  6. And most interesting, an unfamiliar Italian green called l'agretto.

Favas in particular want a long slow spring, because they burn up in the July heat, scorching like a movie vampire out past daybreak.  In a normal spring, they barely start producing before they go up in smoke.  This year, we may get some nice favas before the immolation.


  1. Your weather is almost Central California-ish !

    But I’m interested in that Italian green, mostly because I can get plenty of the typical varieties of produce fresh & cheap @ our local Farmer’s Markets, but rarely see atypical produce such as that. Where did you get the original seeds, and how do you like to use it ?

  2. Laura, if you follow the link, it will take you to Seeds From Italy, which sells the most fabulous stuff.

    I’ve never planted or cooked agretto before. The seed looks like chard seed. Right now, it is just a bunch of spindly red-green seedlings. But I will keep you posted.

  3. Same here in NC – last year’s drowned spring was no fun but this year our last frost was March 8! Everything is miles ahead and looking good.

  4. Thanks, Michele. The husband has been encouraging me to grow new things, things we can’t find at the FM. Looks like this is just the right seed site !

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