March 4, 2022
Pretty soon, we’ll be in the middle of spring planting season. All eyes will be on the weather as we’ll be trying to get crops in the ground in a timely manner.
That is when you can expect a week of rain or a cold snap that brings everything to a screeching halt. The stress isn’t only on the farmer who is standing at the shed door watching the rain come down, but on the entire family.
Families with school-aged kids also are dealing with the activities of the children that seem to multiply come spring. Sports, music concerts and graduations are scheduled without any thought of what is happening on the farm.
Student-athletes must have the same feelings as the farmer during that week of rain when track meets and baseball games are postponed or canceled.
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Moms must deal with all these stressed-out family members, which puts them under stress, too.
What to do? I know some families that take those rainy days and take a daytrip away from the farm. It gives them some time to reconnect and to stop thinking, if only for a few hours, about all the things they wish they could get done on the farm.
For dairy folks, this is usually the time between morning chores and evening milking. Just taking time to visit the mall and having lunch out for a change will help reduce stress.
Every farm family experiences this stressful time each spring. But remember, this is a time to be patient with each other and to remember that you are all in this together, to get the crops planted and get a good start on the growing season.
Speaking of spring and the coming growing season, our local nursery grows Easter lilies, hyacinths and other spring flowers for the Easter holiday. I love to visit the greenhouse and see the rows and rows of white lilies about to bloom as the owner manages the light so they will be at the perfect stage for Easter week.
This can be a challenge, but the results are worth it. On Easter Sunday, the chancels of many local churches are filled with lilies and other spring potted plants. They add a special atmosphere to the religious celebration.
This nursery is ready for spring customers with rows of hanging baskets and tables full of bedding plants.
I love this time of year, but I have to keep a tight watch on my wallet, or I will spend way too much on beautiful flowers. It seems that every year there are more greenhouses popping up to sell spring bedding plants, vegetable plants and beautiful perennials.
I have been moving away from annuals and planting new perennials each year. This year, I will be planting dahlias, hollyhocks, hellebores and astilbes. I am looking forward to a colorful summer.
I know the hellebores won’t bloom until the end of next winter, but I wanted to try them for a touch of spring when it is still cold out.
Perennials take less care than annuals. Filling spaces with more permanent plants makes more sense right now.
With all that, please take care this planting season, and remember to take care of yourselves as well.
Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.
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