It seems like two weeks is too long between permaculture guild meetings. By yesterday I was antsy and anxious, waiting to touch base with folks who get as excited as I do about a tiny green shoot. We all showed up last night laden with boxes and bags and bundles of treasures. There were Jerusalem artichokes, walking onions and ramps to share. I brought the grafting wax and mushroom spore that had been ordered. By the end of the night I had put in another order for strawberries and blueberries and traded fiddlehead plants for more blueberry bushes. We had a really good presentation on the ramps. I hope they take in the wet spot down by the river.

Both the ramps and walking onions are native plants, providing the first of the spring greens. The Native Americans used them as a tonic. When you think of some of the native tonics, many are a bit bitter and strong. The flavor is a nice foil to the blandness of the winter diet of potatoes. The stored onions are getting soft and the garlic stores winding down so the flavor and nutrition is a welcome addition to the table.

I have to go to town for my annual physical today. I hope you are all caught up on the necessaries like tetanus shots and such. Good health is a blessing and a requirement for my chosen life. As long as I’m in town, I plan to stop at the thrift store and see if there are any treasures to be had. I pay special attention to the housewares and the bedding. Today I will be looking for cheap draperies. I need some lace to cover my berry bushes. I saw some netting for sale for $125.00 in a catalog. I don’t think so. Not when I can pick up old curtains for a dollar or two.

If you are thinking of canning this year, now is the time to do an inventory and try to pick up things  you need at the season’s first tag sales. In addition to the canner and rack you need a jar lifter, a funnel, a magnetic lid lifter and a couple of good, long-handled spoons as well as a set of long oven mitts. I am always looking for jars and bookshelves or cabinets for storing them. Jars used to be everywhere but now they go quickly and the prices are no longer always a bargain. I have seen them for as much as a dollar a piece which is crazy as they don’t even have lids. I can buy a case new for less than that.

My tomatoes are BEAUTIFUL!!! These are the heirlooms from Andrea. I have never had such sturdy plants. The weather has certainly helped. We are due for much more April like weather soon. Let’s just hope we can avoid a killing frost that will cost us our fruit blossoms.