Spring… there is nothing quite like it.
Living here in the North, we generally have a long winter followed by a long spring. It seems to take forever to finish melting the snow and warming up the ground.
To help keep us going, the pussy willows are out, as well as the crocuses. But to finally dig in the garden and plant some seeds that is what spring is all about. The smell of the freshly turned soil is heavenly.
The ability to work outside without the hindrance of heavy winter clothes is freeing, although a light jacket can be nice if there is a breeze. The sun beating down warms up everything. It can almost be intoxicating.
Of course, there is a down side to spring as well.
There are gardens to till before anything can be planted. There are the tired muscles which haven’t been used to work this way in a while, although stretching helps to relieve the ache.
There is also a rushed feeling that goes along with planting. Because our season is so short, we need to give the plants as much time as possible to grow. So the sooner the seed is in the ground, the better it is.
The feeling of being rushed increases if you grow a large garden.
On the farm there are additional tasks that crowd an already busy schedule. There is the barn to clean out, new pens to prepare for baby animals and fencing to build or repair.
This doesn’t include any spring cleaning the yard might need, any new building projects to be started, or any old ones not quite finished last fall. And, of course, preparing for the first market in May takes some time as well.
With all the work related to spring, it is surprising we look forward to it at all, but it really isn’t as bad as it sounds.
After putting in a long day in the garden or working down by the barn, it’s nice to take a different path back to the house – even if it means going the long way around. This allows us to see and enjoy spring in small bits and pieces.
We go from admiring the pussy willows, and being amazed at how much snow has melted, to enjoying the crocuses. The feeling that summer is close comes when we see the trees start to bud and then leaf out.
The rebirth of it all is something I don’t think I will ever get tired of. Living and walking in it on a daily basis soaks to the very core of me. I can’t imagine doing anything but what I am doing right now.
And I know that while the spring rush of work is on, even though I can’t go smell the roses, I can still enjoy the spring in other ways.
Because the roses aren’t that far behind the bloom of the crocuses, and I will be able to enjoy them soon enough.
Joan Norberg and her husband, Allan, run Grizzly Valley Farms on the Mayo Road. They have successfully endured the Yukon’s short seasons and less-than-ideal soil conditions. Send her your questions at[email protected].