Although winter is half over it feels a lot like spring. Our temps have been warm for this time of year and last night thunderstorms rolled through. We got some spates of heavy rain out of the mess. I won't complain about that. Our area has been a bit on the dry side for the last few years though, thankfully not on the scale of the western droughts. I definitely saw a little pepper in the pots I started. It is unfurling its first leaves. I think I saw a little lettuce sprout when I turned off the grow lights last night.
The Republican field has narrowed one more. Rand Paul has dropped his campaign. Maybe he will now get back to being a senator--not that I like his policies in the Senate any better.
For years I have read advice to urban gardeners that told them to put in raised beds because of the risk posed by lead contaminated soils. After decades of exhaust from cars using leaded gasoline and even more decades of lead-based house paint, the soil had built up unsafe levels of lead which, experts warned us, might be taken up into the veggies and, eventually, into us. This article from the University of Washington modifies that considerably. Most plants don't absorb much lead and the levels in the parts we eat are safe. Root veggies may absorb more lead from soil but if one washes them well and eats them with other foods they a also safe. Further, using liberal amounts of compost and other soil amendments dilutes the lead and reduces the risk even further.