The nights are still below freezing, but not by much. The days are still cool and rainy. It even snowed a bit today, but high temperatures in the  negatives are behind us for the year. There may be blizzards yet to come, but the birds see fit to return, snowpack is dropping and creeks are rising. It’s the beginning of spring in Montana.

For us, the return of spring means seeds, seeds, seeds. I love these flats of tiny, green shoots peeking above the soil. Every time a new one comes up, it qualifies as a small miracle in my book. Starting and potting up seeds is a kind of moving meditation; my first contact with soil each year, even if it is in a tiny room in the barn.

For Eric, this spring has meant lots of time swinging a hammer building season extenders. A few weeks ago he finished these beauties and today we moved them into the garden.

These are cold frames. They act as mini-greenhouses. We’ll open them for part of the day so it doesn’t get too hot in there, then close them for the night to protect from frosts. After we moved them in, Eric filled them up with spinach, lettuce, beet, chard, radish, and carrot seeds.

Eric also completed our greenhouse yesterday.The southeast corner of our barn has polycarbonate greenhouse sheeting for siding, so he added plastic to make it a full greenhouse. It was a tropical 83 degrees in there this afternoon even though it barely broke 40 degrees outside today. I’m very excited about the possibilities with this greenhouse.

We’ll also be trying out row covers this year for the first time. We had noticed some wire and plastic hanging around in the barn from the previous owners and it wasn’t until this year that we put 2 and 2 together and realized that we had row covers, all ready to go! How cool is that?

Spring in Montana can be long, frustrating and full of fits and starts, but we’re going to try to make little pockets of summer where we can.


6 responses

  1. Elaine Spino

    Love your website. Any chance the base font size could be larger? Looking forward to seeing you at the farmer’s market this summer.

    April 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

  2. Kim

    Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to increase many of the font sizes, but I’m using a pre-made theme and haven’t yet figured out how to tweak it to suit my tastes. If anyone can offer any guidance, please let me know!

    April 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  3. Wow, Kim, this is wonderful! Your photos are great, and I just love the photo of Dex–it’s perfect. Kudos to Eric for all his handiwork.


    April 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

  4. yah! the robins are back, spring is here! Looks like things are coming along great at Chase Farm, the cold frames are awesome. Can’t wait to visit you guys in June…until then, happy seeding!

    April 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

  5. I am moving from Arizona to Colorado this month and am an avid gardener. I am so excited to find your site to learn about gardening in an entirely new climate. Thank you for sharing! Cold boxes are at the top of my “to build” list when I arrive.

    I look forward to learning from you!

    April 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    • Kim

      Kelli, I’m an Arizona Native and lived in Colorado for years too (didn’t garden much in either place, though)! Thanks for coming by!

      April 8, 2011 at 3:56 am

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