Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Work List

March Work List

March is the transitional season in the Pacific Northwest—some days cold and rainy, others soft, warm, and sunny. Plum trees bloom. Bees  haul in pollen, dipping under the weight, dodging raindrops. In the woods, Indian Plum is the first shrub to bloom, but the early wildflowers will be out by the end of the month. Inside, hearth fires dry out the house and we leave the front door open for fresh air.

To Be Done:
  • Start peas and sweet peas inside to foil the wireworms in the garden beds.
  • Finish pruning and bed building.
  • Turn over the soil in garden beds to expose the leaves to soil.
  • Finish off any transplanting.
  • Send out a call for four inch pots.
  • Bump up tomatoes started on Candlemas into four inch pots.
  • Transplant spring crops into garden beds protected by the hoop house or cold frame.
  • On the Equinox, plant summer greens to grow under lights for a month or so.
  • Inspect the beehive.
  • Order bees and chicks.
  • Go for long walks in the woods, watching for wildflowers.

March is also the transitional food season. One day, we are eating fresh eggs, arugula, and chanterelle mushrooms with fresh honey wheat bread and canned grape juice, the next, a split pea soup with root vegetables.

Finnish Spilt Pea Soup

Cook 2-3 cups of yellow split peas in the crockpot for several hours, preferably while taking a long walk in the woods. Add one or two carrots, a large parsnip, two or three small potatoes, a stalk or two of celery and an onion, all chopped fairly small.  Add spices: cumin, dried mustard, marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple more hours, until everything has broken down into a chunky puree.

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