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Christmas is over... time to garden!

What?  So it's still winter, particularly here in the frigid North.

The seed catalogs are here!
One of my favorites- request a Territorial Seed catalog here.

Actually, the first one came in the beginning of December, and they've been coming in pretty steadily since, but I didn't have enough time to give them the attention they deserved. 

The seed catalogs are an important part of winter.  They give hope to what is otherwise the bleakest part of the year (post-Christmas but still months until spring).  They give a welcome distraction when cabin fever starts to sink in it's teeth.  And they remind us of the purpose of winter: planning and resting.

You see, every time I hear anything about Southern gardeners I get absolutely green with jealousy.  They can grow food all year!  While I'm here buried in snow (well, not this year, but usually) with nothing growing, not even in the hoop house that keep my kale and spinach alive through most of December, while the Chickens are going crazy from being voluntarily confined to the coop (I open the door, they refuse to come out...), there are people in the United States who are growing things, and whose chickens are still ranging for food.

But I forget a few things during this jealous internal rant.  I forget that the very places that are growing cool season crops right now are almost without exception too hot in the summer to grow a lot of plants that I have no problem with all summer.  I also forget that gardening is hard work and the idle winter is a great time to sit back, rest, and make some objective (and often ambitious) plans for the next season.  Of course all of this is little consolation to the chickens...

My plans this spring include expanding the garden again (less than last year, and by simpler means), building a greenhouse, moving the compost pile, and converting some of the shed into coop space (in my brain chickens and garden tend to run together).  And I've got to fence the garden somehow to keep my free ranging chickens out of it, without spending a fortune.  And I want to fence the side of the property that borders the neighbors so I don't worry about the chickens wandering into their yards.

I have a lot to do, but for some reason it seems more manageable.  My attitude has changed as the rhythm of my life has slowed.  I'll get done what I get done, the rest will wait.  The new coop space will probably be the first big project, as I want to get at least 25 more layers in the spring, like ASAP.

Do you have any big plans for the spring, gardening or otherwise?


Anonymous said...

While Territorial Seed is not owned by Monsanto, they get their seeds from Semini's which is owned by Monsanto. It is very hard to find seeds which are not controlled by that company.

Brandislee said...

Seriously? (slapping head...) I would have never guessed. I try hard to be vigilant, but it is SO HARD when someone you think you can trust is in bed with the enemy... I just looked a little deeper, and my other favorite seed company, Bountiful Gardens, IS Monsanto free. I do take issue with Bountiful Gardens' Grow Biointensive method purely in the fact that they completely rule out 1) meat as a valuable and sustainable source of food (when raised right) and 2) animals as a source of (in my opinion extremely valuable) garden compost. But their seed catalog is pretty rockin'.

Here's a list of more Monsanto Free seed companies that I found on a message board- I don't know how accurate the list is, but it's a good jumping off point. Monsanto Free Seeds

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