Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow on February 2?
If he does, tradition says we will have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, then we can expect an early spring.
Punxsutawney Phil has been forecasting the weather on Groundhog Day for more than 120 years, but just how good is he?
Did you know the origins of Groundhog Day can be traced back about 1,000 years to the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox observance of Candlemas Day, which is also February 2? Candlemas Day is traditionally a celebration of Jesus’ early life and occurs between the Winter Solistice and March Equinox. According to folklore, it’s time to recognize that winter is on its way out, the light is beginning to return, and spring is finally on its way!
Candlemas Day is a “cross-quarter” day, the day falling between an equinox and a solstice, is roughly equivalent to the end of Eliot Coleman’s Persephone Days in our hemisphere, depending upon your latitude. The sun is beginning to beat the darkness back with a vengeance.
I noticed last night around 5:45 I could still see light in the sky to the west. Daylight is increasing by more than two minutes per day now and the changing angle of the sun adds to our ability to better recognize the changing day-length and to continue to see light in the sky even after the sun goes down.
For those of us working close to nature and to the land, these traditions have great significance. We know the seasons do not wait and are scurrying to finish our plans for the growing season. Very soon we must start seedlings for things like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants and some of us may already have started some things. We must finish browsing through our many seed catalogs and put those orders in very quickly if we haven’t finished ordering our seeds by now.
Regardless of what Phil sees, Hattie’s Garden is asking all the vendors we work with to dig deeply into their larders, their fields, their high tunnels and bring forth carefully tended and stored produce for you as we await new springtime treasures.
What’s Available This Week
The following will be available to order for Saturday, February 7 pickup or delivery.
Greenbranch has plenty of the solid, delicious Kabocha squash for you. It is some of the nicest and sweetest winter squash I have ever had and stores a long time. I once made a “pumpkin” pie from a Kabocha squash that was better than any real pumpkin pie I had ever had, but it is also just a good solid side dish or soup base for any meal.
Greenbranch also has lots of high quality frozen USDA certified pork and beef, including nice pork chops that come two to a package and beef rib steaks that are second to none. And Pure Harvest still continues to pull beautiful chickens from their deep freezers.
Fresh eggs? Chickens do not lay as much in winter and groups of them will be molting as they are cared for in a way that allows them to live with the rhythms of nature.But Pure Harvest and Twin Post Farm still have plenty of eggs available to you because many marketing venues are not available for them at this time of year.
Chesapeake Organic is located on Delmarva way down near Crisfield, MD and actually benefits from a bit warmer weather than we do. Through careful season extension techniques, including covering things outside and growing in unheated greenhouses, Chesapeake is still able to bring us wonderful fresh produce, but it is limited in quantity now and you should order quickly if you want to get in on it this week.
Hattie’s Garden is happy to be cutting arugula this week! It looks and tastes great. I know this because I taste it each day! It is growing in my high tunnel and I carefully give it a second covering every frigid night to keep it from succumbing to the deep freezes.
Chris Burns and his son of Chinky Oyster Co. will be in the cold water of the Chincoteague Bay for us on Friday, harvesting the freshest and tastiest oysters I have ever had.
For a better and much healthier cheese than you will find in the supermarket, Chapel’s Country Creamery is the winner, hands down.
I just received another box of pure, unfiltered, unprocessed honey from Baue’s Bees that is available in either a plastic or glass jar.
For unusual and wonderful jams and jellies, take a look at what Backyard Jellies and Jams has created. And Deep Grass Organic has some old favorite jams, wonderful herb vinegars and their signature Hot Horseradish Mustard.
If you really want a treat, please look at the offerings from both Patty’s Homemade Gourmet Food and Old World Breads. Their items, made from good whole ingredients, are fresher than anything you will find in a supermarket, and you won’t find a long list of ingredients you cannot pronounce!
As a reminder, please place your order as soon as possible. Many of the produce items do sell out quickly this time of year.
If you have any issues with the ordering process, please feel free to call me at 302-945-0350.
Yours at the computer, ordering seeds…