January 28, 2016
Another journey round the sun brings us back to the beginning of the calendar year. And yes, it is the middle of a snowy winter and our gardens are under a heavy, wintry blanket…but that doesn’t mean I’m taking a break from gardening. While all around outside seems dormant, my mind is awakening to the possibilities that the growing season ahead may bring. Seed catalogues are arriving, our seed stash is pulled out, and all of us are thinking of the good food and flowers we will grow. I have yet to finish planning the rotation of crops in the garden, but those details are getting smoothed out soon.
I’m a typical Virgo who likes to make notes of favourite crops, those particularly good varieities that work well in our zone. We write down epic fails and how we could have avoided them, and what we made with certain vegetables for the winter. I even write down how much canning I accomplished and if it is enough to get us through the winter. For a few years now, the kids have helped me make these simple handmade books to record all our homesteading activities for the year. I think I was inspired by Amanda Soule’s similar books and they sort of took off from there. I love them for how easy they are to look back over several years at what needs to be rotated and where, how many chickens we raised and how much wool was sheared. And on the last page, we have a wish list by all five of us for the upcoming season. This year, some of those wishes include : a Hugelkultur bed for Papa, more drip hoses for mama, a dirtbike (!) for little Huckley, a horse for Sunshine, and a parrot (???) for Forrest. I’m thinking that just two of these wishes might get fulfilled…(spoiler alert, they don’t involve anything that requires fossil fuels, has four legs, or squawks from a beak….but we can always dream, right?)
Outdoors, there was so much snow in front of the greenhouse, the children made snow caves over several days. At one point, they decided they were seed pods buried in the ground, asleep, waiting for spring to pop up out of the ground.
Looking outside right now, with snow piled high, it is hard to believe we are soon going to bring our seed start table indoors and begin planting for the growing season ahead. But sure as the sun rises in the morning, those little seedpods are going to be waking up soon…