February 14

Monday morning, Valentine’s Day…..where are the cards and chocolates? Most likely under the towering piles of snow that line the dooryard.  The nicest gift I could get would be a snowless week with some nice sunshine. This has been the coldest winter in the last 10-15 years and we have gotten a lot more snow than normal.  We are burning through our propane contract trying to keep our two big stock-plant houses going. We also use a lot of propane melting snow on and away from the greenhouses in a storm so it doesn’t pile up on top and collapse the greenhouses.  On top of that we have to supplement light levels with HID lites to bring the plants along so that we can take cuttings. There are 700 tiny little tomato plants struggling to grow in there as well. Hard to imagine that those same plants, when planted in the soil in a greenhouse in April, can sometimes put on almost an inch a day in height. Not so now, but their presence in the greenhouses and the slowly strengthening sun assures us that spring will come.

The new farmstand renovation is coming along pretty much on schedule. I am told that there is a painting party to be held there this afternoon and I am required to show up with a roller in hand and some crappy old clothes. After that gets done, we will be ready to put the flooring down and start moving some basic appliances into the kitchen part. Wooden shelves still need to be constructed for the farm stand part,  exterior doors and windows installed and a large counter constructed. It appears that this will not conflict too badly with the opening of greenhouses in early March and potting season, but there will be lots of little stuff that we overlooked that will have to be done. Ray and Mike have been reassembling the coolers, with many “farmer modifications” added to make old panels fit together in odd spaces. Fortunately we have gone two weeks without major snowfall (over 4″). Snow removal from around the greenhouses and driveways is a full 2-man job that takes a full day or better, so not having the expense for two weeks seems like a gift.  Maybe that’s what I got for Valentines Day this year….