Planting lettuce seeds at Vanderweele Farm in Palmer, Alaska.

Southcentral Alaska still has snow on the ground and though we’re still six weeks away from reliably frost-free nights the local farmers are starting to ramp up their operations. At Vanderweele Farm in Palmer they’ve been planting in their greenhouse for a couple of weeks now and farm manager Roger Vanderweele says they expect to start transplanting to the fields in early May.

I find this to be the most stir-crazy time of the year. We’re getting almost 14 hours of light a day — and gaining over 5 minutes every day — yet we can’t expect green-up until the end of May and the local produce scene won’t take off until mid-June.