Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Mere Coincidence

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1996. All rights reserved.

Fastened to our refrigerator door with a cow-shaped magnet is a fading piece of print clipped from some newspaper or almanac long ago. The clipping has outlived at least three refrigerators and survived several moves, traveling with us like some heirloom we dare not misplace.

Though curled at the edges and smeared a bit, the words are still legible:

"When the first leaves of the lilac appear... plant peas, potatoes, lettuce, radishes and the like.

"When the first lilac blossoms appear... plant beets, carrots, kohlrabi and other cole crops.

"When lilac blossoms reach full bloom... plant beans, corn, cucumbers and squashes.

"When the lilac blossoms fade and fall... the danger of frost is probably past and it's time to set out tomatoes, peppers and other warm-weather crops."

Continued at... No Mere Coincidence

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: Blossom in Lilac by Gail Mckenzie

Thursday, March 3, 2011


by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1995. All rights reserved.

It is early spring and I am walking the windbreak I planted last spring. This stand of saplings should rise up 20 feet in a dozen years or so, providing some protection against the hot, dry westerlies that blow this way come summer.

A properly constructed windbreak can deter winds 10 times the height of the tallest tree, or so I've read. Planted in a bell-shaped curve with the tallest trees in the middle and shrubs on either end, the aerodynamic windbreak will re-direct breezes around a field, giving soils and tender seedlings some peace.

Continued at... Windbreak

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: Agricultural Landscape in France with Distant Windbreak of Trees