EECO Farm - March 2024 Newsletter for Gardners

“The Stormy March has come at last,

With winds and clouds and changing skies;

I hear the rushing of the blast

That through the snowy valley flies.”


“March” – William Cullen Bryant (1794 -1878)

The Board of Directors for EECO Farm would like to take this opportunity with our first newsletter for the new year to welcome back all of our gardeners --- and many newbies --- and wishing them the best in the 2024 growing season.

NOTE: If you haven’t renewed your garden(s) lease as of yet, please do so immediately! Bear in mind that we maintain an extensive waiting list for our patches and, to be fair, if you don’t intend to renew, kindly tell us now. A new tenant is awaiting and would love to join our little community and set up in your abandoned space and get started soon.

Although EECO Farm is open every day of the year, from 5am to 10pm, there really isn’t a whole lot going on here in early March as the ground is still pretty cold and too wet to work properly for most plants and vegetables. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing at all to do here at EECO!

 Now is the perfect time to clean up your garden if you haven’t properly done so already when shutting it down last fall. We will “semi-officially” open up for most garden business when we unlock the Tool Shed and put out our wheelbarrows --- together with the tractor and the weed wagon and, of course, re-open again the all-important bathrooms! That won’t all happen, however, until around “The Ides of March” --- which is Friday, the 15th

By the way, the name “March” for this month comes from the Latin name “Martius”, which was the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. That lunar time period, in turn, was named after Mars, the Latin name for the Roman god of war --- who was also the exact same god of battle spirit originally called “Ares” by the ancient Greeks. Thus, the modern-day zodiac sign of the strong-willed Aries (the Latin word for “ram”) starting on the 21st of this month is named after the star constellation that starts to appear in the night sky about now. That cluster of stars is also named after this same Greek god (but it is now spelled in English with an added letter “i” to aid proper pronunciation). 

The start of spring in March was also once designated as the start of the new year in the old Julian calendar (it was changed to January 1st under the new and more widely used Gregorian calendar). This was also the month for the start of warfare as the ancient armies could finally move about more freely with expanded solid ground to support wagon wheels and less mud to worry about traipsing through. Plus, sleeping outside was much easier because of the warmer temperatures … so sometimes they would just go out on the march!

Please remember that, thanks to 2024 being a Leap Year, our Spring season arrives this year quite early --- on Tuesday, March 19th at 11:06pm EDT. 

EECO Farm will not be fully, 100% operational, however, by Spring’s arrival because of fear of a late winter freeze. Thus, our underground PVC water pipes will not be turned back on until probably the first or second week of April. However, the front swing gate will be switched back to fully automatic as soon as possible.

NOTE: The water hydrant over by the tool shed is still operational should anyone need access to water this early on in their gardening cycle --- but, really, your garden will no doubt be damp enough by nature and so a full garden wetting by hose or sprinkler will probably not be required for a quite a while yet. 

Later on in March, many of our gardeners like to plant cold hardy veggies --- such as the appropriately named snow peas, all spinach varieties, kale and Swiss chard (yes, there’s a big difference between them), most types of leaf lettuce, green onions (scallions) as well as the ever-faithful, go-to radishes --- of any type or color --- simply because you can harvest most of their green leaves for your salad without having to wait for the bulb to fully develop. 

 Many of us usually plant our lettuce very tightly now for a first-cut spring crop. You can harvest the baby leaves quickly and in just a few weeks’ time. Later on in Spring, thin out the ones that you’ve been clipping. Then, in another row, at the end of this month or in early April, sow your seeds or greenhouse transplants further apart to get a bigger and fuller lettuce head by early summer.

 As soon as your garden soil gets crumply in your hand, you can put in your hardy herb and spice seeds such as rosemary, tarragon, coriander, dill, thyme, oregano, sage, chives and parsley, among some others.

All of the above gardening tips bring us once more to a very important point mentioned at the start of this newsletter.  Please do not start to plant in your garden unless you have paid your annual rent in full! 

                         Happy Gardening!