March is Spring Planting Time: Over the winter, I read the book Long Man by Amy Greene. It is a local novel set in 1936 when TVA constructed several dams across the valley to control the area rivers, create electricity, and bring jobs. Everything about the novel is very regional, from the actual events to the character descriptions and voices to the writer’s writing style. At one point in the novel, Greene makes a reference to the fact that every year in the first week of March, the ice began to thaw, the earliest native plants began to peek through the soil, and the people began to prepare the ground for planting. I do not know if this has always been so, if when writing this, she was referring to her own observations or some sort of historical documentation. But in my time here and particularly in our time farming here, the first week of March seems to always signal a significant shift in the weather: the birds start making nests, the daffodils and early flowering trees begin to bloom, the hens start laying eggs again, and we spend the week planting spring crops. Last week, the greenhouse was overflowing with spring seedlings, and today, it is more than half empty, as we make room for summer plants like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash and zucchini, cucumbers, and melons.