Friday, April 15, 2011

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

It's April. Spring has officially been here nearly a month, and while I've been keeping myself very busy, in other ways I feel like I'm just starting to wake from my winter/mental hibernation. But today the sun is shining, I'm watching daffodils dance outside the window, and I think it's time to start shaking myself out of this stupor.

My work life is really focusing on the baking at this point. Three of my fellow bakers have left Local Roots for various reasons, so I've been trying to step up my own baking to help keep shelves full. Fortunately, loyal customers have kept coming back for more of their old favorites as well as new items such as sandwich buns and tea rings, so I'm seeing my business grow in good, gradual steps. I'm also selling bread at Wooster Natural Foods to reach another group of shoppers who might be interested in whole grain breads, so that's a satisfying addition. And I have some upcoming prospects that will definitely keep the mixer mixing and the oven baking.

But all of that wonderful business meant that at the last minute I had to pull out of my farming gig for the year, temporary though it was going to be. I simply didn't have the time or energy to pull away even for one day a week for that work. It's a loss, of course, but I will still be growing produce, just staying closer to home and sharing garden space with old friends and new.

While I haven't done much work in the gardens yet, aside from a planting of peas and radishes in mid-March with the Southern Belle, I have started a few flats of seeds that are stumbling along. This flat is actually considerably further along now, as the chamomile and anise have grown and the cherry tomato seedlings are setting their second sets of leaves. The cole crops are a mixed bag, but then they often are.

I do need to start scheduling time for garden work as I often let the week of baking slide right by without even thinking about getting outside for another kind of work. First up will be cleaning up the Renaissance Man's garden patch. The garlic is coming up nicely, but so are the weeds, so it's time to start clearing out the old and planting the new.

That includes clearing out the mulch to let those overwintered and perennial crops get going, like my strawberry "babies" and the herb patches. Maybe today, if it doesn't rain?

Writing is another area that has seen neglect this winter -- I've spent a lot of time reading (mostly fluff) but not much writing, mainly, I think, because the daily work kept me so busy that my mind was too tired to do anything more. Maybe I needed to let that part of me lie fallow for a while, because I'm thinking that whatever seeds have been planted in the past few months are finally starting to take hold, and maybe something will grow one of these days. The Renaissance Man and I visited Gene and Carol Logsdon earlier this week, finding the perfect warm spring day to wander around their farm, and talking with them may well have watered those seeds.

Spring always brings with it a feeling of hope, a breath of fresh air that clears out the cobwebs of past routine and opens up new windows of ideas and potential. I'm going to try hard not to miss this chance.

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