Sunday, April 3, 2016

Is the Spring Coming? Come to Open House and See!

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
When I do not think my own words sufficiently artful in pinpointing the feelings or painting the picture I desire, I do not shy away from adopting some from writers of a more poetic bent. I look up quotes...sometimes to reinforce a phrase half remembered, sometimes to express an essence I can’t quite reach.  What is spring?  It is yin and yang, the turmoil of the winds rushing now north with warmth and moisture, now howling south with the sleet and chill from lands where spring has not yet ventured.
“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”
In greenhouse world, spring work has been plodding along for months on the more or less predictable schedule we set out when the plant orders came in: sorting a load of plugs, filling flats with potting mix, matching the cuttings to the customer, counting, always counting. To describe this process as ‘joyful enthusiasm’ is indeed to imbue our daily tasks with both more orderliness and nonchalance than is detectable in anyone’s attitude!  We have productive days and frustrating days, but one week before the equivalent of Hurst Greenery’s Opening Day, the greenhouses are splitting at the seams with a patchwork of texture and color.  We humans may be weary, but the burgeoning of spring will not be denied.
There was only—spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness, the vital essence of it everywhere: in the sky, in the swift clouds, in the pale sunshine, and in the warm, high wind—rising suddenly, sinking suddenly, impulsive and playful like a big puppy that pawed you and then lay down to be petted. If I had been tossed down blindfold on that red prairie, I should have known that it was spring.”
Even a mild winter in this hard hearted  Continental climate brings weeks of drear and dark and whining winds. The first hint of warming sun melting a heavy frost changes the scent of the land perceptibly.  The first rain releases the soil from bondage and pockmarks the most compacted winter walkway with the castings of awakening earthworms.
“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?”
“He smelled cold water and cold intrepid green. Those early flowers smelled like cold water. Their fragrance was not the still perfume of high summer; it was the smell of cold, raw green.”
“The point is that the pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing.”
Ah! Now we come to the crux of the matter.  Indeed!  The pleasures of visiting our greenhouse this weekend for the annual Open House are available to everyone and are free, free, free!  Come see what we’ve been planting, watering, and caring for since February!  We have potted up almost 7000 planters, a total we cannot even believe. We are fitting each additional flat in jigsaw piece by piece. The earliest tomatoes are just about ready for those who feel lucky.  By Saturday, the greenhouses will be full to overflowing, not an unusual situation for early April, so, bring your camera, your phone...and kids, too.
Whatever the weather on Saturday, we  promise spring inside….

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

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