I looked out the window at first light this morning to a virtual white-out. The winds have been howling off and on since last evening, and we have snow I didn’t know we were to get this far south. Gotta love late winter/early spring! One day it’s flowers and light jackets, the next a warm fire and filling the suet feeder.
The good news is it means I still have plenty of time to prune the fruit trees. But seed starting! I’m probably already late with onion seeds. Fortunately, I always order onion seedlings, that one step beyond even onion sets. But I know in my mind that there could come a day when that is not an option…for me due to job loss or other money woes or for everyone if one of the many problems the world faces escalates to the doom and gloom scenarios scattered across the web.
So that’s why a good portion of my volunteer hours are spent with the Learning Garden. I am slowly but surely learning how to start with seeds of varying sizes in little paper packs (or, with a little more education, carefully saved from the previous year), nurturing them through their tender sprout-hood, and figuring out how to keep them alive in a myriad of conditions once they land in my garden. Then I must carve out the time each day in summer and fall to harvest and preserve (often while still planting and always while still weeding), whether learning how to cure squash and root crops before storage or dry, can, pickle, or ferment. Just this year I learned how to properly cure garlic (warm but in the shade) and for the first time since I’ve been growing my own garlic didn’t lose the majority of the hardneck variety before I could use it.
Finding fast and easy recipes that use only ingredients available locally and at the same time is another task. I find I don’t have a lot of time to cook in the summer (and by that I mean “prepare food,” if not actually cooking a thing). So a box of time-tested recipes that I can throw together with what I have on hand is a definite must. I hope to add those here as I make them.
These things and many more come from a community such as the Learning Garden and the Millheim Market provide. The more experienced gardeners share their knowledge. Recipes get talked about and passed around. Even weeding becomes a culinary experience as I learn what plants I can forage can be added to my menu.
If this sounds like fun to you…if it even sounds less like fun but definitely like something you should be doing…plan on joining us this year. An evening a week can be oh so inspiring and enlightening as you learn to
Buy Locally Grown
Or Raise Your Own!