One of the topics of conversation around here connected to this year’s late winter is the concern over garden planting. Most of the green thumbs in this area started a lot of their seeds in anticipation of warmer temps and lots of spring sunshine. Now that Old Man Winter kicked us once again with almost 20 inches of snow this past weekend, there is a lot of hand-wringing going on about planting.
I have never been much of a gardener and as I have written before, I think it is because I spent most of my youth in my dad’s garden picking rock and pulling weeds. I like fresh veggies, but don’t like many veggies cooked. In fact, if I were King, there would be NO cooked veggies in my kingdom except for sweet corn and potato chips. I guess it’s a good thing I am not King and undoubtedly never will.
My bride loves veggies, all kinds of veggies, and spends lots of time trying different versions of veggie delights, but has learned long ago to cook only enough for her. Lately, I have been taking small boxes out of the mailbox from some Vegan place. It’s not a big deal to me as I have my own small boxes in the mailbox every now and again and Steph ought to be able to as well. She really enjoys being in the kitchen and does a pretty good job of keeping me well fed even without baked potatoes or steamed asparagus.
With our very short growing season here, folks have to plan well to take into count frost events and late snowfalls. It usually works out for everyone, but not without a little worry and a little luck. I suspect we won’t see green grass for quite a while and it will certainly challenge all local gardeners’ ingenuity this year.
Steph would love to grow her own veggies, but we don’t have a ton of open ground at the lake other than lake-side and I really don’t want to sit out on the deck with an adult beverage and not be able to see the lake from the corn stalks. We have a fair amount of deer around as well and they love fresh veggies too, so a fence is usually in order which is something else I don’t want blocking my view.
I think I have this figured out, though. I saw a small greenhouse online while we still lived below Da Bridge and bought it for Steph in anticipation of our move back home. It isn’t very big but should hold enough plants for Steph to grow to her heart’s content. We cleared out some the trees and undergrowth near the side of the house last fall, leveled it and planted some grass. I think it will make a nice sunny spot to put up the greenhouse without blocking my view of the lake. It is fully enclosed with clear sides so it should keep the critters at bay while still letting in the much-needed sunlight. It should also keep the temps nice and warm even in those cool evenings we can experience.
Steph and I will put it up together which is also fun. We work pretty well together and given we are retired, we can take our time and not have to worry about punching a clock or each other. We always learn a lot when we tackle these types of projects and I know this one won’t be any different.
I am sure Steph will be very much into working in her greenhouse and I think it will be cool to see what she is able to grow. Besides being able to sneak a few fresh veggies when they are ready, the real advantage to me is not having to weed or pick rock. I love it when a plan comes together.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.