Return of the Sun

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Author: Patrick Crouch, Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Earthworks Urban Farm Program/Farm Manager

I greeted Monday March 20th by placing Neil Young & Crazy’s Horse’s “Rust Never Sleeps” on my turntable. It along with many other albums I find too depressing had been vacant from my listening routine for the last six dark months.  With Monday’s return of equal day and light; the vernal equinox, I enjoyed my breakfast while listening to “My My, Hey Hey.” Certainly even with the return of the sun Mr. Young can be pretty bleak listening, but I always look forward to the return after his exile. Much as I might enjoy living in a place like California, I wonder if I would enjoy the sun as much, if it had not been banished for so many months, would the sun feel as warm if I didn’t have the contrast of the low dark days of winter. I’ll likely never know, but I can tell you that the other week when the power was exiled for over 6 days – I found myself realizing how much I take electricity for granted. While the kitchen was not without complete power, we didn’t have enough for the heaters or the automatic vent in the greenhouse. What this meant to the little seedlings of kale, collards, tomatoes and peppers we had started, was that they had to deal with extreme swings of temperatures, well above 100 during the day and well below freezing at night. Most were ok, we had enough current to keep heat mats on, and our friends at Keep Growing Detroit took several flats in at their greenhouse. Each night I would cover the seedlings with plastic for extra warmth, wish them a good night and hope that they would be ok. I worried about them, but when upon the 6th day power was returned, they had weathered the storm. A few plants were a little worse for wear, but overall they did remarkably well. We transplanted them, gave them a little fish emulsion, and you would never know what they had been though. Let’s hope that we don’t have any other emergencies, and now that it’s spring go ahead and put on that Leonard Cohen record. You deserve it, you made it, congratulations and enjoy spring.