The text below is copyrighted by Ventura Life & Style.


By Jade H. Smith

Celebrate Renewal and Rebirth


       The name of the Norse goddess of spring and the dawn is spelled Oestre, but generally pronounced "Ostara". The name of this goddess of fertility is our word for the Vernal Equinox. 

     Ostara is the time to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the renewal and rebirth of Nature herself, and the coming lushness of Summer. It is at this time when light and darkness are in balance. And also, the forces of masculine and feminine energy, yin and yang. 

     Every Spring, Ventura county shares renewed energy and the sensation of new life found in green vegetables and fruits. Our Farmerís Markets boast of fresh produce and vivid flowers from our own local fields. One favorite to look for is Pixies; the small, sweet seedless tangerines from Ojai. Thanks to our moderate climate, another scrumptious choice is early varieties of strawberries. 

     Shaking off the wet heaviness of winterís foodstuffs, San Buenaventura is experiencing an explosion of sunny color in the form of daffodil yellow, crocus purple, and lupines peppering the landscape alongside the 101 and 126. 

     These are the days to till and amend your soil for summer crops. If you havenít yet planted your bulbs, or trimmed your roses, there is still time. Modern hybrid varieties of both can bloom in late spring or early summer. Bare root roses will be available at your local nurseries. 

     Amending your soil replenishes nutrients depleted by last yearís crops. Remember to work the amendment at least two feet into the soil. By cultivating your soil early and well, you will reap the benefits - and crops.

     If you are sowing seed for your summer crops, you can start them in flatbeds now. Or you can wait until young plants appear at your nurseries, allowing you to have a variety of vegetables later on. 

     There is nothing more rewarding than a rainbow of colors in your yard and a bushel of crops in your garden. It is new life and the bounty of nature, proudly assisted by your own hand. Happy digging! 

And the Spring arose on the garden fair, 
Like the spirit of Love felt everywhere 
And each wild flower and herb on Earthís dark breast 
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest. 
The snowdrop and then the violet 
Arose from the ground with the warm rain wet 
And their breath was mixed with sweet odour sent 
From the turf, like the voice and the instrument.

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley

--Jade H. Smith

photo by Ray Smith

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