The end of winter is always a thrilling time for gardeners. We gather up last year’s lessons learned and unfulfilled longings and search for ideas and ways to do better. We list then list again all the myriad foods we wish to serve our families straight from the back yard and all the herbs that we no longer want to buy at the grocery store. The appetite is great.
We also celebrate all over again last year’s experiments that were successful! The crops or bouquets that surprised even our own sweaty brows. (This is where having taken photos last year is really helpful.) We lust after fifty shades of green and intense flavors and every natural perfume this beautiful world has to offer.
I am certainly no exception. Right now on my coffee table is a wicker basket about two feet wide and half that deep, filled with brand new seed catalogs and gardening magazines. Countless sheets of paper have lists and diagrams scribbled with my ideas for 2014. I go to sleep thinking about the garden and I wake up thinking about the garden. I think about it when I run, and I talk about it every single day to anybody who will listen. Including our parrot. Everywhere I visit, I will inevitably spot a little expanse of dead lawn that could become a vegetable plot or maybe a barren ribbon of earth circling an office building that really should be a flowering border. I believe in my heart that everyone I meet wants our free Lazy W animal manure, and it baffles me when they decline.
This year some of my sweet local friends are joining the slow food movement with renewed passion. We are ordering seeds in large quantities to share the shipping costs and encourage each other, and we are doing so twice: Once next week for the earliest spring planting then again closer to tax day for the summer stuff. Some foods and flowers we have decided to buy locally.
Are you interested? Do you have even just a sunny patio where you could start a few bowls of lettuce, or maybe a little strip of lawn that could yield even more? It does not have to be fancy or ginormous to be thoroughly satisfying in every way! I’d be so happy if you followed along with us this year.
Here are the seeds we plan to order now in order to make the most of the cool months:
- radishes (both red and white)
- lettuces (There are so many different varieties! We’re ordering fancy-schmancy lettuces you’re not likely to buy at the grocery store.)
- kale (swoon)
- snow peas
- broccoli raab
And here are the foods we plan to seek out and buy locally, mostly because none of us are equipped with great grow lights or heating mats, so it makes more sense to buy flats of baby veggies rather than have them shipped:
- strawberries (both the June-bearing and ever-bearing)
- cabbages (both colors)
- brussels sprouts
Are you tempted? Or are you three steps ahead of me already? Either way, I wish you the grandest gardening adventure ever this year! I wish you good, nutritious, slow food that feeds your soul as well as your body. I wish you a true spiritual connection to your little piece of this earth, however big or small it is. And I wish you all the sensual pleasures we are promised for being caretakers here.
Stay tuned for more from the Lazy W slow food movement! This is only the beginning.
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.