Parsnips, carrots and earthworms. What do these have in common? Well, on February 25, 2010, I dug all three from my vegetable garden. The root crops were no surprise, of course. Covering these with some kind of protective mulch and digging them throughout the winter is a time-honored practice. But finding the ground entirely frost-free in February and loaded with earthworms, no less? Well, that happens but rarely, once in a blue moon.
Here in Waldo, spring arrived almost as early back 1984. I was able to plant peas in a raised bed on a south-facing hillside around the third week of March of that year. That was the earliest that I had ever seen frost-free ground.
Lest the term, “global warming” enter into this, remember that early frost-free dates do occur fairly regularly. One notable, early spring happened in 1775. Minutemen left off plowing on April 19, to take part in the fights at Lexington and Concord. During the running battle back to Boston, British soldiers dropped like flies, from heat exhaustion.
So my best advice is to enjoy the current circumstance, without trying too hard to dissect it. Go out and watch the tender, green tips of daylillies as they emerge from the newly-thawed ground. Pick a few, forest-green lengths of newly-risen chives. And dig those parsnips, carrots and earthworms.