The beginning of March through the middle of July has been my busy season for many years. March into early April is the sapping season; I’m busy making maple syrup and planning the garden. For many years, the first weekend of spring also coincided with the Maine Boatbuilders Show. My carving shop was working at full capacity in the weeks preceding and following the show. A cartoon of my activity would have shown me as a blur. There was no time for malaise in March.
In April comes the “Frog Run,” when the buds start to open, the tree frogs begin to sing, and sapping winds up for the year. It also coincides with many early plants being started in the cold frames or going out in the garden under low hoop rows of remay fabric. This is a dicey time of year, not just because your timing is critical but because the climate is unpredictable.
May is the hurry-up season. When I was doing boat shows it was because people wanted me to hurry up and complete their order. I also worked hard to get the garden in, finish all the other yard work, and handle the demands of my regular job.
June through the middle of July had a more leisurely pace. The garden was in, but weeds were not a big issue yet, work in the shop was moderately paced, and more time was spent on coastal trips with the family. Towards the end of June, the entire family would decamp wherever the Woodenboat Show was held for four intense days of work and fun. Currently, I am not doing shows, and the pace is leisurely.
July brings a slowdown. The days are warm, daylight lasts longer, and if I’ve done a good job of mulching, I neither have many weeds nor much watering to do. But I miss the intense excitement of the spring. In recent years I found that if I time things right in the garden, I can get a second spring in the fall by planting spring crops in August and bringing them to maturity under cover of remay fabric or in cold frames. If my timing is right, we have late spinach and lettuce.
The garden looks decrepit by December, except for the Brussels sprouts I try to bring through until New Year. That is not a victory that I can always gain. And I find myself looking forward again to spring.