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The maddening wait

19 May

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t go into hibernation mode all winter here in Vermont. True, we do sleep a lot more, and we don’t go out as much. But we’ve still got to eat.

By the time early spring rolls around, potatoes and onions and sweet potatoes have pretty much lost their excitement (but not parsnips. Those are still delicious).

This is the culinary malaise of early spring, when the weather has shown us some warm, sunny days but the first plants haven’t yet begun yielding delicate spring edibles.

Hey, cow!

It’s a maddening time — as California moves into its second growing season of the year, over here we spend a large portion of the springtime just waiting for the ground to dry and the last chance of frost to pass. And although there’s enough sun to give me a sunburn from a half-hour long run (I simply must break out that SPF 70), there are still very few fresh vegetables.

So instead, we’re holding our breath in anticipation of abundant greens and freshly harvested asparagus, of fresh tomatoes and strawberries and blueberries.

But finally, finally, the Middlebury Farmers’ Market is outside again. Yesterday, I managed to snag some new red kale, some radishes, and a small tub of Blue Ledge Farm maple chèvre. Which, by the way, is exceptional and highly dangerous, in that there’s a good chance you’ll finish the entire tub in one sitting.


Or maybe that’s just me.

So for those who actually do have greenhouses, spring vegetables are actually happening.

For the rest of us, well, there’s a whole lot of waiting.

Unfortunately, after our glorious week of sun and warmth, the clouds came back and the rain started up, so of course the only solution was to bake bread and brew beer through the rain. But oh, hey! All of a sudden the trees were budding.

At least something's growing...

Trees, great. But with the unusual amounts of rain, area farmers are falling behind schedule. And looking ahead, it’s not looking like it’s going to improve much:


Oh, well. What do weather forecasts in Vermont really mean, anyway? We saw some sun today, so…score one for unpredictable weather, I guess.

Still waiting for the day when we can plant these puppies outside.

Baby basil!