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by Mike Deuel

It’s almost time for the outdoor world to wake up and brush off the chill of winter! Everything changes in March; at the beginning of the month everything is still almost weak from the cold. But soon enough, bit by bit, everything starts to bud as we got marching into the growing season.  Each day something new catches my eye when I step out our front door.  While my wife Anastassia is searching out new growth in the flower beds, I am getting super excited to see blossoms on our cherry, apple, plum and peach trees (new for 2021 is a persimmon tree!)

Little by little we notice a little more growth on the kiwi and the hops vines. We planted garlic for the first time last fall, and with such a warm fall we are waiting anxiously to see what will come back this spring. 

Some of you may know that I am not one to wait for much of anything, so I start early.  Maybe a little too early this year: with close to 300 seedlings in the basement, by the end of January I am raring to go.  Once it gets a little warmer (around 40 degrees during the day), I will start hardening our broccoli and cauliflower, a little bit more each day in hopes to plant by mid-March, snow or no snow.

We collect seeds from everything we truly enjoyed the previous season.  Squash, peppers, tomatoes (so MANY tomatoes), eggplant and the list keeps growing.  Saving fruit seeds and pits has been a learning experience, starting lemon, kumquat, blood orange and pomelo last spring. They are almost a foot tall now.

Over winter, we started about 100 Hudson Valley peach pits, cherry pits and apple seeds outside just waiting to see what happens in March.  I think we are most excited for the Arkansas Black Apple seeds that we planted. In just 6-8 years and we will be enjoying those.

We are a household of chefs and food is our passion.  Growing and sharing our own food with family and neighbors takes that passion to another level. In 2020 sharing became even more important and we were happy to give whatever we could to our friends in need. 

Welcome to growing season!