January Ritual

It is about one month into winter.  This morning I found myself in a ritual that I do every January.  I got a blanket, a mug of hot tea, and my seed catalogs, as well as my paper and pen.  It’s that time to plan the garden.  When I sit with these catalogs, I see all the pictures of the lush tomatoes, shiny peppers, and crisp lettuce, and am transported to the warm spring sun beating on my head as I plant my seeds or plants.  When it is below freezing,  it seems like those days are so far away.  However, they always seem to creep up on me and surprise me with the ferocity of their arrival.  The time between choosing seeds and planting them usually seems faster.

As usual, my list is too long.  I’m going to have to pare back.  Also, as usual, I’m bemoaning the fact that I don’t have a greenhouse to plant lettuce year-round.  I say “THIS FALL” I’m going to get one, but after nearly 20 years of gardening on my own, this still hasn’t happened.  I have a new goal this year, and that is to plant some grain and seeds for the chickens.  I also want to try the wood chip system, because I loathe weeding.  If I can get this system to work well, I will be thrilled beyond words.  Can you imagine no tilling and no weeding?  Sounds too good to be true.

We did reach one goal and that was getting a good compost pile going.  We actually got TWO! (Whoop.)  We also got chickens, which is something I wanted for 20 years.  We also got an orchard planted.  I’m curious to see how the trees fared this year, since it remained really cold for an extended time.

I don’t know what the previous owners did to the strawberry patch to get it so strong, but somehow through all of this cold, it is STILL partially green.  I didn’t clean up the blackberry patch like I wanted to last fall.  I got too busy with the musical I was in.  I also didn’t trim back my raspberries. They are a little crazy.  Hopefully, we’ll get some good berries this year though.

These are just a few things that I’m reminiscing and planning on.  I have a few other plans in baby stages in my brain.  I’m hoping to make a little profit this year from my garden and fruit beds.  Maybe a little from my eggs too.

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