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.