And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Winter can be over now....

Yup, The holidays are done, so if the snow just wants to turn into rain and the temps want to hover around 65 deg for the next few months I am okay with that.

I am experiencing a curious mix of feelings about the upcoming garden season. A part of me is very excited, because this year I will be starting my own seeds for the first time. I have make big changes to the garden, and am looking forward to trying my new raised beds out.

On the other hand, it is really hard to get excited about gardening when it is blustery and cold like this. Combined with the fact that once again this year I will not have my own garden in my own yard, I just can't get too hyped up about digging in the dirt.

I know that I will be more excited once I get that first whiff of spring, though. Nothing makes my heart go pitter-pat like the smell of damp earth thawing out in the spring. The drip-drip-dripping of thawing snow is the best music to my ears.

On a related, but slightly different note, I have made a discovery. It is probably no news to those of you who preserve your harvest regularly, but I was surprised all the same. This past (late) summer, I had cooked up some of the beans I had frozen. I had run out of fresh, and wanted to see if the frozen ones were any good (though how you can mess up freezing beans, I don't know). I was so disappointed! The frozen beans had nowhere near the rich, buttery flavor that the fresh beans had. I was broken-hearted, but decided to keep the others I had frozen anyway, since they were there and any help I can get with the grocery bill is good.

Well, I cooked up some of those frozen beans the other day. Somehow, with the memory of fresh from the garden beans getting blurry, these beans tasted better than ever! Definitely better than store bought. I learned an important lesson from this: Never compare ANY processed vegetable to fresh. There is just no comparison. However, once the memory of fresh (and I mean REALLY FRESH) veggies has faded a bit, you will once again be able to appreciate the fabulous flavor of home grown and home processed veggies. I am so relieved.

I have been seriously considering a trip to the Conservatory down at Como in St. Paul. I think I need to smell green, growing things and wander in the warm, humid air to get my gardening juices flowing. They have a fabulous fern room there, and it is so nice to just sit and smell the dirt. With all the plants, it seems quiet even when there are lots of people hanging around. Part of it is that they all seem to be quiet out of respect for the feel of the place, and part of it is the muffling effect all that foliage has on sound.

Yeah, I think I gotta go. Now I just have to find a day when I can get away.


Kati said...

LOL I'm SOOOO with you on the "winter can be over now" feeling. Unfortunately, I know we've got at least 4 more months of the white stuff hanging around, before ours is over. (And Jan. and Feb. are usually the coldest months, for us as well.)

Do you have any heirloom seed mags you could suggest for me??? I want to see about ordering non-GMO seeds this year instead of buying the GMO-seeds from the hardware store. Thanks for any names/sites you can give me!!!

barefoot gardener said...

Well, I haven't ordered from any of these (I have always gotten my seeds from the local garden center), but I have heard good things about them.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (
This was my first year getting their cataloge, and I am WAY IMPRESSED. Oh, the variety! And I really like all the info they have.

Johnny's Selected Seeds (
I like this one for all the extra info it has on how much to plant for desired yield and special needs for plants.

Two that seem to be standards that I know very little about are:

Seed Saver Exchange ( and Victory Heirloom Seeds (

This will be my first year doing mainly non-GMO seeds, as well. I really like the local garden center as they are locally owned and operated, and sell home grown produce etc. Unless they can assure me that all their seed is non-GMO organic, though, I think I will have to take my business elsewhere. It is just too freaky to think of all the things they are doing to our food!

Mysti said...

I say take that trip to the conservatory! The kids and I are going to the Botanical Gardens next week as I need some green stuff too! LOL