Snow, sunshine, springtime gardens – and COOL

Joy Ufford file photo

SUBLETTE COUNTY – This is going to be a mishmash of things that go together in timing if not seasonally obvious. This is the time of year, when sunshine comes earlier and stronger and stays later, even as snowdrifts heap over the fenceposts, that I try to remember my early-winter mantra.

“The grass is still green under all of that snow.”

Not that I’ve dug down to ground level lately; I have my steadfast neighbors across the alley who keep my drive plowed out in town and on Dell Creek Road, Kevin’s backhoe stabs a large square bale to sweep the gravel driveway clear.

Thinking of that green grass underneath it all came to mind on Sunday when Kevin and I said farewell to Tiger, whose vintage mechanical parts, pieces and knowhow kept many an equally vintage set of tractors and mowers scything through tall cool green hay and clover.

Green is the color of the coming season; every year at this time I’m inspired to cross my fingers and see what returns in my little gardens of gravel and clay. “Garden” and “green” mean more timely inspiration from the Sage & Snow Garden Club and green-thumb guru Arlinda, who never utters a discouraging word.

On April 20, Sage & Snow Garden Club invites people to their free seed exchange at 5:30 p.m. with Planting for Pollinators also free workshop, 6-8 p.m. in the Pinedale Library’s Lovatt Room.

We’re sharing the garden club’s “Ask Flora” column for March here this week, and hopeful gardeners near and far beyond Sublette County borders are anxious to hear more of spring-is-coming expertise and tips.

P.S. COOL – it’s not a reference to weather but encouraging as springtime sunshine. The Country of Origin Labeling is gaining traction with your neighbors, ranchers and consumers hoping American beef gets the recognition and respect it deserves.

On March 6, USDA’s Tom Vilsack announced a “proposed rule with new regulatory requirements to better align the voluntary ‘Product of USA’ label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. The proposed rule allows the voluntary ‘Product of USA’ or ‘Made in the USA’ label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.”

The USDA’s 60-day comment period, through May 12, on “Voluntary Labeling of FSIS-Regulated Products with U.S.-Origin Claims” opened with March 13 publication in the Federal Register. To read and comment, go to