Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WooHoo...Catalogs are coming! Make way for the lists!

Oh what fun to open the mailbox these days... everyday brings at least one new seed catalog if not more... I get so excited... planning, making lists, and more lists, wanting everything heirloom and colorful and exotic and, and, and....
Yesterday I got this full color absolutely fabulous heirloom catalog.... I fell into it with such a feverish enthusiasm... David laughed... said that a good seed catalog must be like "porn for a gardener". That man has a way with words... Me, I usually liken it to going through the Sears Big Wish Book at the start of the Christmas Season when I was a kid... circling wishes and filling the book with dog-eared pages!
I go through each seed catalog with a pen and circle the likely candidates... then make a list with page numbers and prices..
This makes it easier to compare from one catalog to the next...
Of course, the very first step is to go through any seed that is left over from this year or has been saved from the crop this year...... more lists.... A list of what I must order from where, based on what worked well this year or in years past... After all there is my never fail variety of eggplant... and the Sweet Italian Peppers I love so much.. right... more lists of the things I just can't live without...
And now lists of the produce that is much loved by my "Fresh Start" families who I also grow food for now.
The list of lists goes on and on... as the seed catalogs and lists become a mountainous pile by my chair ready to cascade to the floor... a slippery slope of lists, possibilities, the ultimate in local food, color, nutrition and lists and more lists.......
Soon time to make a list of seeds to start....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Silent but Busy!

Dear Readers,
I have been silent for quite some time... it has been a crazy few weeks full of all sorts of hustle and bustle. My silence here has certainly not been because I had nothing to say... quite the contrary.... just that there is SO much to say and there has been SO little time to stop and write! Between the holidays, travel, and big changes at home...

So the BIG NEWS is that David and I are now engaged! Woohoo! After 6 years as a single mama and 45+ years of waiting for the right one to come along... here HE is! Rebecca adores him and life is SO good. Really worth the wait! I must say that it is the easiest relationship ever and just gets better all of the time. Yay!

So now we are in the process of selling David's home on the other side of town. Then we will all move into my little house at the garden. It will be SO good to live back at the garden and not be commuting anymore! I SO look forward to being on site and the great time that will be saved from the travel back and forth.. also looking forward to the more integrated life that we will be able to live all in one place! Cooking and gardening and doing the usual household chores.... an inter-planting of work, so to speak!

My Fresh Start produce business is coming along. I have about 20 families on my weekly email list with 3-8 orders per week. It is what I can manage for now. As the Spring and Summer season comes on I expect that it will become twice a week email with more orders! Right now the winter options are limited to fresh greens and mesclun mix salad greens as well as some fresh herbs.

My row covers are working well! I currently have six covers up and have plans for more. I am using the French Chenille Style of row cover written about in Elliot Coleman's book, The Four-Season Harvest and by our friends at Shibaguyz . I had read the book and seen to information on row covers but it was not until the Shibaguyz posted about their experience making these row covers that I promptly followed suit! Thanks for the inspiration! I promise to write more about the process and include how-to pictures!

We are getting a storage building built at the garden to serve as storage and a woodworking shop for David.. But wouldn't you know it... the ideal place for the building is were my mountainous mulch piles have been for the last few years. So for the last 3 days we have been moving the mulch. Who needs a membership to the gym? My body hurts in places that I didn't think that it was possible to hurt! And I am not done yet.. David helped for the first day until his asthma started up thanks to the molds in the pile.. I took over after that! But I am almost done.. one more day! One of the side benefits of this little project is that now the mulch is closer to the garden and will save steps later. I also managed to get the wide row of berries mulched and the herb garden paths too!

There of course is more... but It is time to cook dinner. Chicken Risotto with mushrooms and onions and a salad of freshly picked (an hour ago) mesclun mix with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic clove (finely minced or pressed)
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste