I took my cough and sniffly sinuses outside today and started Project Garden, 2011, pulling weeds, adding compost to the veggie beds, installing the pea fences and planting pea seeds. The potato bed is just about ready for the seed potatoes, which I expect to arrive in two weeks. I brought in about half of the over-wintered kale, which opens up a half-bed for starting spinach and carrots, assuming I can find my row-cover-anchoring rocks.
Things are actually looking pretty good in the garden, despite the snow and the hard freezes we had this winter. There's plenty still to clean up - the potato vine needs pruning and training as does the jasmine; I need to decide on a perennial herb to replace an extraneous and struggling lavender; the space under the rosemary has opened up some and needs something that won't get in the way of the cherry tree or block access to the rain barrel; my assorted groundcovers need to be tidied up; I need to decide if I should remove the two struggling blueberries and if so, do I replace them. And that's just the back garden; there's still the front yard (which has some bare spots and an over-ambitious volunteer) and the p-patch (where the asparagus needs to be mulched soon) to think about. But I don't think I've lost anything this winter, and all in all, I feel the garden's in surprisingly good shape.
This is how I know spring can't be far away: while I worked, lots of neighbors passed by. One of the East African women stopped to ask about planting order and compost. Some neighbors offered the services of their daughter - who was wearing her dress-up fairy wings - as a pollinator. The grandmother of some other local kids told me that she takes this route from the light rail station just so she can see what my garden's doing. The gentlemen next door took their dog out for a walk. Wasabi sneaked out of the fence to harrass some other dog, who was minding its own business and rather unnerved to be out-postured by a cat.
A handful of the blogs I read have lately announced progress on or intentions to step up from urban agriculture to actually owning a farm. There's a certain romantic appeal there for me, I have to admit. But I know myself well enough to know that as much as I might like the idea, I'm not a milking-in-the-morning person, or a health-care-for-livestock person, or even a pull-weeds-in-a-greater-amount-of-space person. I've got all I need (or at least, all I can handle) here. Call it Adapt In Place, if you want. I'm going to call it Enough.