It’s mid-March, and we are finally getting some warm pretty days after months of rain and clouds. You can tell it’s almost time to plant when you can actually smell the damp earth, whether it’s out in your field, in a backyard garden or even in a flower bed.
It smells of hope and a fresh beginning. After an awful weather-related harvest last fall, many folks were heard to say, “Just wait till next year.” Well, next year is here, and it’s time to roll. Crank up the planters, and let’s see if Mother Nature will be a little more cooperative this year.
As for myself, I’ll be planting flowers pretty soon. It’s a spring ritual for me that I used to share with my elderly neighbor. He used to work in the ag industry for many years. Although his body was feeble, his mind was sharp. He always set our “planting date,” then sat in his chair and gave me advice on just how to mix the right amount of dirt and potting soil, how much fertilizer to add and how far apart to space the plants.
I suppose you could say he was my “consultant!” But he obviously knew what he was doing because the flowers and plants flourished all summer long.
I’m sorry to say that he won’t be with me this year to guide me through the spring ritual, but I do remember everything he told me to do in previous years and will follow his legacy to the letter. He would expect no less.
I imagine multi-generational farmers feel much this same way. Each generation passes down knowledge based on experience to the next generation and so it goes. Listen to the wisdom of those who have “been there, done that,” but don’t be afraid to try some new things, too. There’s a lot of new technology to work with out there to complement the tried and true.
It’s spring. So get out there, plant and nurture your crops and hopefully enjoy a bountiful harvest this fall. After I plant my flowers and prune my plants, I look forward to heading out to the rice field. See you there…