Springtime Near the Rockies
~ Maureen Brucker

As I sit watching the much needed snow

finally begin to fall, I reflect on what a crazy

several days it has been.  I had been still

lazing around planning the year’s garden

when the rumor broke into my consciousness.  

Snow was a possibility by the end of the week!  

Snow!  Real honest to God white stuff.  We needed it so desperately.  Once I started to believe it, it was imperative that action be taken.

The first step was a trip to the local big box hardware store for sand.  By the time I was finished, my little RAV4 had made 3 trips.  My friends and I had planned a major garden expansion and much of the untilled soil was fairly clay bound. 

Next stop was a house several blocks away.  The children at my house had discovered two very large bulls on the land walking from the bus stop, shortly after they moved in.  It took very little effort to arrange for the cattle waste to be dropped off at my place.

Finally, a rototiller was borrowed and the serious job of enriching the soil in the expanded garden was begun.  The process was long and hard but with the help of everyone at the house, the job had been completed last night.

All that was needed at this point was for nature to run her course.  She was generous.  The white gold had been falling all day long.  Big fluffy mounds were piled up on top of what had been tilled rows just that morning.  The more the snow, the deeper the manure nutrients would seep into the newly prepared earth and the better for planting.

Now all I had to do was sip my tea and watch the snow do its work.  The next prayer was for a repeat of the weather in two to three weeks when more sand and manure would again meet the rototiller for a final treatment.  With the expansion covering so much of the acre, a garden tractor might be in order in the future.

At this point, we will see if the heirloom tomatoes produce as well here as they did in the beds across town.  The same will be true for the peppers both hot and mild.  Roma flat beans will be new as will several specialized lettuce varieties that do not bolt in the heat.  Beyond these, there will be varieties of squash both summer and winter.  A large upright freezer was gifted to me last year so it will be a component of winter preparation.  We are also looking into canning and drying.

With a bit of luck and a good production level, we just may be able to connect with several personal chefs for the sale of the surplus produce.  It would help pay the water bill while providing quality produce for others.  But that is for the future.  Right now preparations and planting are the order of the day.

As I keep saying, planning is everything.  In reality, with gardens as with life, that is a very important part of reality.  So it is with the EREZ fund.  We do what we can to keep a steady stream of funds coming in because the need is great.  People have spare money to give at different times of the year.  Some have it in the summer when their own heating bills are less.  Some get a holiday bonus that becomes part of their giving plan.  Others still, donate monthly all year round.

In all cases, the money is needed and more than welcome.

As surely as warm up of spring is here, the cold winds and snow will return in a few months.  While you take the time to pause in the gathering warmth today, remember the families, the elders, the children who will be cold this winter. 

Make it easy:

your spare recycling money
the extra left over from your trip out of town
a percentage of your garage sale money or have a special one just to help the elders
drive fifty miles less a month and send the savings
put a can on the kitchen counter and collect spare pocket change from all in the household for a week
spread the word and get friends involved.

Do not forget to ask about matching funds at work.

Put it all together and connect at the link below for both a mailing address as well as the Paypal link.  (Remember that Paypal will take out an administration fee so plan on giving a bit more if you go that route.)  Either way, donations now will help the fund get in on some of the early bird specials that come just before the cold season.   


Photo Credit:   Nicole Bowman