Planting the Seeds of a New Year

Seed catalogs litter the coffee table this morning.  There is even a poultry catalog lying amongst them.  The search for seeds is on, as well as deciding which breed of geese to pick.  We’re going to get a couple pairs of geese in the spring—‘watch’geese, Thanksgiving dinner, eggs, . . .

There are library books as well—gathered in haste yesterday while the library was open.  One on raising poultry, one that lists varieties of Heirloom veggies (just in case there’s a terrific one out there that I don’t know about!), one that is a lovely calendar of garden ‘chores’ month by month for our region of the country, and one about outbuildings for the farm—we’re building a permanent chicken coop structure and Jason wants a lean-to to shelter wood.  As we continue to grow, we’d love to purchase more of the surrounding land and add a barn as well—might as well dream big and plan ahead!

I am already itching to get my hands back into the dirt.  Winter solstice was a week and a half ago—the longest dark days are behind us.  The sun is returning to us in this part of the world.  It never quite feels like it though, does it?  The hectic hustle and bustle of the long, drawn out holiday season numbs us to the passing of time early in the season.  Now with it all over again for another year, the days stretch ahead.  And so, . . . the catalogs and books will take up some of the time, dreaming of the soil on my hands,. . . . can you smell it?  You know—the way that the soil smells with the warmer spring days—you can smell the fertility of it.  The sights—turning over winter rotted leaves to find tiny, delicate green things growing!  The feel of the damp, still cold spring air—the runny nose that inevitably goes with it!  Hands covered in damp soil, planting the early crops; lettuces, green onions, radishes (which we always plant, but don’t really like—but they’re so easy to grow and so pretty!), potatoes (Will it be dry enough this year?  The last 2 years have been too wet—they just rot in the ground.)  Listen!  Can you hear all the baby birds chirping?  Watching for that first robin that brings spring—her tiny turquoise eggs, . . .

But back to reality—for now—I need to get the heavy duty winter boots on, a big warm jacket and slug through the mud to give the chickens some scratch.  Then I think I’ll brew another pot of coffee and curl up under a thick blanket over by the wood stove with the books, . . . .

After all, there isn’t much time—got to get the seed orders in, got to get the soil mix ready—starting the seedlings in just a few weeks, . . . .

Happy New Year to you all!

P.S.—A good friend gave me a book for Christmas titled, “Nickel and Dimed, On (not) Getting By in America”.  Good read, important subject.  It’s about the plight of those of us stuck working the low paying jobs in this country, desperately trying to make ends meet; working two full time jobs at times while losing ground in this terrible economy.  Check it out if you get a chance—and please, be kind to those working these jobs!

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2 thoughts on “Planting the Seeds of a New Year

  1. We’re feeling the same way down here in North Carolina. I have so much I want to to do–it’s just not the time to do it yet. I’m so restless, and I can’t wait to get my hands back in the dirt. Right now, we just have to be content with harvesting collards and turnips. Like you, though, we’ve been scouring seed catalogs. I’ve already spent over dollars on seeds of heirloom varieties this winter. I think Natalie is going to make me sleep out in the cold if I spend much more. What type of chickens do you have?

    • LOL! But it’s economical buying heirloom seeds–you are going to save seeds for next year, right? 😉 While you are researching seeds, check out the ‘slow food arc of taste’ site–a few heirlooms that are in danger of extinction. I already grow a few of the tomatoes on that list–may try more.

      We are currently raising a flock of silver laced wing Wyandottes. We are considering adding a few Buckeyes, an old heritage breed that is making a comeback in our area. (They are also on the arc of taste endangered list.)

      Happy cataloging! Stay warm and Happy New Year!

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