It didn't look like it would happen on Friday. A steady cold rain at the farm, chilling, winter-like. Temperature in the 40s. The day I was supposed to start my garden. But water stood here and there and everywhere and there was little hope for gardening.
Brother Don and I put the plow on my tractor anyway. Gardeners like their farmer cousins always have hope. But on a day like last Friday, when it was snowing across northern Wisconsin, and raining steadily at the farm, even hope was in short supply.
Saturday dawned partly cloudy, with no rain and rising temperatures. After a book talk at the Plainfield Library, we returned to the cabin to bright sunshine and sixty degrees. Steve and Natasha were there to help—truth be said, to do most of the work. Steve plowed and disked the garden, and Natasha pulled the ancient wooden marker across the soft and drying soil, making the little grooves that told us where to plant.
By late Saturday afternoon we had planted ten rows of potatoes and two long rows of onions. The gardening season at the Apps farm has officially started—about two weeks late compared to most years and a month late compared to last year. But who wants to compare anything to last year?
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: In the woods in spring, the smells of late fall and spring collide.
STORIES FROM THE LAND: Look for my twice-monthly column in THE COUNTRY TODAY newspaper. The next one appears on May 8.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Interested in learning how to write you own stories? Sign up for one of my upcoming one-day workshops that I am teaching at The Clearing in Door County.
Saturday, June 22, 9-4
Saturday, November 3, 9-4
Contact The Clearing for further information and/or to sign up (www.theclearing.org).
(There will be a book signing at The Clearing on each of these Saturdays from 4-6:00 p.m.)
May 8, 6:30 p.m., Wisconsin Historical Society Museum (Downtown Madison) Breweries of Wisconsin. Dinner, need reservations.
May 9, Reedsburg Library, 7:00 p.m. Garden Wisdom.
May 14, Trempealeau Library, 1:00 p.m. Trempealeau Fourth Graders and 7:00 p.m. Jerry Apps: A Farm Story.
May 15, 7:00 p.m. Magers and Quinn Bookstore, Minneapolis. Presentation and book signing.
May 16, 11-1:30 Chapter Two Bookstore, Hudson, WI,
May 18, Dregne’s Scandanavian Gifts, Westby. 10:30-2:00, Book signing.
May 19, Books and Company, Oconomowoc. 2:00 p.m. Book signing.
May 23, Richfield Historical Society, 7:00 p.m. Stories from the land.
May 24-31, Colorado
June 4, Noon. Milwaukee Rotary Club. War Memorial Building. Limping Through Life.
June 6, 7:00 p.m. Dane County Genealogy.
June 7, 7:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Launch of LETTERS FROM HILLSIDE FARM and LIMPING THROUGH LIFE.
June 8, 11:00 -3:00 Book signing, Tri-County Thresheree, Plainfield
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING “JERRY APPS: A FARM STORY” DVD
DVD Jerry Apps: A Farm Story List $16.95 The Patterson’s price only $15.00 ($20.00 shipped)
Special Bundle Offer exclusively by the Patterson:
Tamarack River Ghost & Jerry Apps: A Farm Story – List $43.90
The Patterson’s Price Only $35.00 ($43.00 shipped)
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St. PO Box 305
Wild Rose, WI 54984
(All items are sold by the Friends of the Patterson Memorial Library. They will accept checks or cash, they’re sorry but they don’t have any way to accept credit or debit cards, checks should be made out to the Friends of Patterson Memorial Library.