Friday, April 16, 2010

Stinging Nettle, Elderberry and Other Signs of Spring

When you're living at 1200 m you wait a long time for Spring to arrive.  We had snow 3 or 4 times again last week but the last of it has melted and we've had  a couple days of warm, sunny weather.  Warm and sunny enough that the air up here held the promise of Spring!!  The other day I headed down the bank to see if the nettle might possibly have decided to show itself here.  This is what I found. 
A few little stems poking their way of out the recently snow-covered soil.  I can't tell you how pleased I was to see it.

The nettle patch here grows right under the Elderberry bushes.  A glance at those showed more signs up Spring.
Then yesterday after a very warm day in town (especially warm when you're "mountain" people (like us just now) and come to town in jeans and long-sleeved shirts only to discover all the "town" people wearing shorts, sandals and short-sleeve t-shirts) I decided to spend some time on the garden beds here.

Aside from only 4 worms (such poor soil) guess what else I found...
tiny spinach plants growing where I had planted it last year.  Some of it was left to go to seed and it was such a treat to see this sprouting up here. 
Even though we're missing our gardens at our old home we can find pleasure in whatever we can manage to grow here.  Seeing that spinach helped me decide to go ahead and prepare more spaces to plant here even though we don't know if we'll be living here come harvest time or not.  If not, then we've decided to just hope that whoever is living here will be so excited by harvesting the food that they will become as enchanted by gardening as we are.


nettlejuice said...

Love those signs of spring!

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Dear Heather,

Oh, how lovely to have signs of spring! We actually found a little patch of nettles close to us here, too! We made the most delicious, energizing soup imaginable out of it ;) .

I hope your little spinach babies do well for you.



Erin said...

I love your last paragraph...especially the part about the possibility of nurturing a connection to gardening in someone perhaps new to it all..such a beautiful outlook!

Did you run and jump when you saw the nettle?? Knowing how you love it so, I was imagining that as I read along...;-)

Heather said...

Hi Erin
I've been checking it for weeks to see if it was growing and I did know it would be coming eventually but yes, it was still exciting to finally see it. It has been growing at lower levels in town since the begining of March so we are at least 6 weeks behind in the growing season up here.

Greenie said...

I have much to learn about nettle, apparently.

And congrats on the spinach. I completely love when stuff volunteers itself for another season without having to be planted.

Katherine said...

Ah, signs of spring. Makes us happy, doesn't it? So glad to read that your nettle is up and the spinach too. Amazing to think that your 6 weeks behind the valley's growing season. Probably on par with ours, actually. ;o)