Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Farm Diary: April 14, 2014

The Magnolia Star trees in our front yard had finally begun to bloom, but this morning, the cream buds were wilted and coated in snow crystals. 
Our hens are barely laying. We’ve been getting about an egg a day (down from three) since Marie Curie went broody and we had to “break” her. It might be my imagination, but I think the girls are getting aggressive. I chose Buff Orpingtons because they are supposed to be the most docile breed. Maybe we’re all just tired of this winter encroaching into spring.
The grass is a contradictiongreen and covered in patches of snow. It’s hard to read the sky: there is a bit of blue peeking through some white billowy cumulus clouds, but the clouds directly below those are dark gray and ominous—my guess is that some weather-wise person would classify these as stratocumulus. All I know is the ambiguity is exhausting.
Maybe I’ve no right to complain, but complaining about the weather is the most natural thing for a grower to do. For so many months, the sky and the land were decidedly bleak, in no way open to interpretation. The rhubarb would not have poked through, the magnolias would not have budded, and the grass would not have turned green if we hadn’t finally had a glimpse of warmer weather. We did, and thank goodness for that. 
But it’s mid-April, and I have not worked the ground for the cooler season vegetables. Usually I plant something in March. Seed packets are piling up: cilantro, arugula, chard, radishes, beets … all usually in the ground by now. On the greenhouse-porch, my tomato sprouts are weak and small compared to every other year.
Nature is all metaphor. No need to use my imagination; here in rural Indiana, the metaphors are plain. The drought coincided with reconciling to not having children, and this eternal waiting for spring has dovetailed perfectly with our waiting for a job that will allow us to keep the house and land. We don’t know what will happen, and I haven’t posted to this blog because I keep thinking an answer will come and all this reflection will be moot. I could get on with it and care for this house and land. At this moment, it’s snowing again ... .