The best thing about this Six on Saturday? It’s FINALLY not January any longer! I really have no reason to complain, because I did get a lovely break from our bleak, bleak, frigid weather with a albeit too-brief trip to sunny Florida last week. In fact, I posted last week’s Six on Saturday from there. I bet you never guessed because I had written it while still in Indiana. We came back to 21 degrees and horizontal snow the entire 2 hr. drive home from the airport. UGH! But I had these to cheer me on the way, because my sweet D got me these for my birthday and I carried them home on the plane. A week later and they still are bright and beautiful. All my favorite colors: orange, yellow, green, blue, just like my gardens. Of course the first thing I had to do once home was to check the seeds I’d sown before we left. Happily there were a few green sprouts to greet me in the recycled strawberry clam shell. I still am trying to adjust to sowing smaller quantities. There’s just a pinch of hollyhock seed here instead of the hundreds needed when I had commercial greenhouses. The seeds in the foreground are shasta daisies, left atop the soil because they need light to germinate. A half-dozen of those have sprouted since my return. And this flat of pansy and viola seed is more like “my usual” in former days, the difference being there is only one flat instead of fifty! They’ve all sprouted since my return. I’ll be moving them to the light stand in the basement this weekend. And also bringing a smile, the potted amaryllis bulbs are beginning to produce bloom stalks. I need to write in my journal to move them up a week or two to help fill that gap of gloom once the Christmas decorations are packed away. I can’t wait until their dramatic blooms open. Not everything upon my return was a good thing, however. This STUPID U.S.A. Department of Agriculture Survey was waiting in the mail. I’d love to just toss it, but legally I am required to fill it out. Last time it was 20-some pages. This time it was 30 pages of intrusive, probing questions. Yes, it was much easier to complete now that I am no longer actually producing agriculture (growing your own food doesn’t count, but if I sold anything I’d have to fill out PAGES of detailed info on how the crops were grown, sold, their value, supplies used and the supplies’ cost, etc. etc. etc.) I still own farm land that does produce crops, therefore I am required to fill out all the pertinent info. And if I were selling plants, trees, livestock, honey, or aquaculture that would require additional info, as well as having any employees because I’d have to give information on them, too. The value of all crops, machinery, land, buildings must also be reported. Did I sell the crops myself or use “channels”? Did I sell anything “on site”? This time there were more questions about me as a person, which I find offensive. I’m a farmer. Why does it matter if I am female, white, old, single, or rich or poor, living alone or with others? Does it really matter to the government if I make decisions daily on my own, or with additional people involved? Apparently it does matter because they asked specifically. My view is that as long as I am not breaking any laws, it’s none of their business what size tractor I may or may not use. (For your info, since you didn’t ask, it’s a 1954 John Deere but I haven’t used it in 5 years.) Rant over……….but if the next one is forty pages and asks what hair color I use, you can expect an even longer rant. Just warnin’ ya now so you’ll be prepared! And lastly, of course yesterday, Ground Hog Day, we had our first sunny day in ages with a wind from the south melting all our snow. Even a view of my beloved potager looks gloomy. Today it’s back to grey and bleak, and now we’ll have no snow cover to protect the plants as the temperatures plunge dramatically again tomorrow. Sigh! Thank goodness I have my seedlings to tend and more seeds to sow….and it’s FEBRUARY, not January so all is well.
Thanks to THE PROPAGATOR who suggested and hosts this meme. Go to his page to find lots more informative, inspiring “Six on Saturday” posts.