Spring is Almost Here UK 2018!

I know I’m a little preemptive here.  But I can’t contain my enthusiasm for the next season upon us.  Late wintertime has been grand, filled with more maple sap than we can really handle.  It’s always at this point in the season when the sap is flowing so much it gets exhausting.

She’s still running.

And we’re still boiling.

Outside, and inside.  Pretty much in every pot or pan we’ve got.

[The white foam you see is all the detritus–bark, ash, stoneflies–floating to the top, which I constantly skim off with the fine mesh strainer, pictured on the edge of the evaporator in the top photo…the most satisfying part of the process!]  After we’ve gone through the trouble to actually tap the trees and detour its life force into our buckets, it would seem horribly ungrateful to not follow through.  And we do get something sweet out of the deal.

Things are growing inside now, although outside is still rather bleak.  Oh yeah, and when I said the leeks were doing pretty good overwintering, I spoke way too soon:

Um, so, you can barely see them because they’re the same color as the straw…in other words, not really alive.  But this year’s leeks are in their new home in the greenhouse and they are alive!  I think I planted them at the perfect time. I remember last year when I moved the leeks to the greenhouse I felt I should have done it earlier, so I really took that to heart this time around.  It was still very cold, getting deep into the teens outside at night, and although was a little nervous I just went for it.

And sure enough, the next few days were sunny and the greenhouse stayed nice and temperate.  The soil in there is so far from freezing.  And the leeks are now a little more upright and healthy.  The right move at the right time.  They look nice, don’t they?

Indoors I’ve got lots of little guys doing well too.  The first planting of Reine des Glaces lettuces didn’t germinate too great, but the ones that made it look ready for a salad! :)

I blame the poor germ on my re-used soil mix.  Probably should have sterilized it.  But the Johnny Jump Ups in the same flat are looking rather perky.

These guys apparently like cool weather too, so in a week or so I think I’ll start hardening off the whole flat.  Springtime is on its way!

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Malcolm Lowe

Researcher at Independent
I'm a gardening researcher specialising in ecosystem science, where we look for future technologies to help stop climate change and other negative factors affecting wildlife.
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Author: Malcolm Lowe

I'm a gardening researcher specialising in ecosystem science, where we look for future technologies to help stop climate change and other negative factors affecting wildlife.

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