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I was really having to concentrate on not feeling smug today as I ventured into the back yard to begin preparing for the new veggie garden. With a record-breaking high temperature of 79, it was hard to even imagine the people in communities all across the United States who are still battling snow and ice. My snowed-in friends, you have my sympathy, and my hope that the weather is milder from here on out.

This will be my third year in a row of creating a new garden space from nothing but weeds. It won’t be fancy, but it will be functional, and since I now know how much shade the big elm tree throws and have moved my beds accordingly, I hope it will be bountiful. I’m concentrating on organically grown, non-GMO seedlings, along with my traditionally organic gardening routines.

Of course, our ongoing drought will bring with it some new challenges. Making what water I do use go farthest without being wasted will take an additional effort. If the state or community mandates across-the-board cuts in water usage, those of us who have been careful all along will be unduly impacted. Just how much more can we save and still grow the vegetables for our families? As Jennifer Lipp said on the radio the other day, the “water hogs” will have it made if they have to cut 20%…because they have been using way more than they need.

Rain is in the forecast for the next several days, which will saturate the ground and make weeding and preparation much easier. And it will force me to plan before I plant, instead of getting all excited and planting willy-nilly!

Long live the modern Victory Gardens, and the gardeners that grow them. Happy planting!