FINALLY, signs that Mother Nature knows it is indeed spring. April showers have lived up to their reputation, even bringing bits of snowy rain earlier in the month. However, at last it’s warming and early bloomers are poking through the ground and trees are beginning to unfold their leaves and flowers.
Living in a converted mill has its charms and drawbacks. A recent drawback became evident when maintenance tried to start up Marley. Marley is the affectionate name given to the big, silvery, square, metal hulk that sits behind the mill and delivers air conditioning to residents. With the frost reaching deep into the ground this winter, pipes burst and need to be replaced. As you might guess this takes time…and more time…and yet more time. Therefore, I’m fervently hoping that the warm weather holds off until Marley is up and running once again.
On another front, AARP conducted a survey and reported that 51.3% of New Hampshire adults over 65 say that their health is very good or excellent. Among the states, that percent is exceeded only by Colorado.
I wonder if the fact that New England has a vibrant small farm culture helps account for these positive reports. Farm stands abound, usually open from May through October, and many farms throughout the state have special events to attract visitors. For instance, there’s a Veggie Hunt during which children can learn about specific vegetables and take home what they find, a Dandelion Festival that includes tasting, and a Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk with close to 200 little homes to spot on a wooded trail. New England has a Small Farm Institute which publishes on-line information about tools and classes, mentor opportunities for new farmers, and connects potential farmers with available acreage.
Many farms specialize and their produce and products are sold in regular supermarkets. I was amused to find a little flyer in my carton of eggs this month. It was a letter from “Esther Bonnie”, the spokes-hen for flockmates at her farm. She was commenting on the human habit of coloring and hiding eggs at Easter. Esther Bonnie reminded readers that her ancestor hens would hide their eggs to keep predators from stealing them. And, she stated that her flock retained the skills to occasionally play this hiding game on their farmer friends just to show who really is the boss on the farm.