winter thoughts

The garden I was working in today was laced with leaves, a small preview of what is to come. This week, Sage was thinking about getting a new leaf mulcher – our old one broke at the end of last year, and it never was very good. It got clogged way too easily and the parts just seemed cheap. I did a bunch of research and came to the conclusion that the course of action is to just bite the bullet and get a more expensive mulcher. I think if we just think about all the money we will save on buying mulch, and our time dealing with a machine that gets clogged all the time, it will seem much more reasonable. Plus, we are going to mulch since we are committed to not taking our leaves to the transfer station – which I am glad about – so we have to get something. Hum, even thinking about removing the leaves, sometimes I just feel like a meddler – there is so much that mother nature does so well. But… I like to meddle, so I hope that we are getting kinder and kinder with our meddling.

I was listening to a TED Talk today, I do that a lot while I’m gardening, and a gentleman from Dehli was talking about putting plants in his building that provided all the air a human needs. Now while that seems more than a little horrifying that the world’s air is getting so bad, it also made me kind of excited. Perhaps gardeners could be a force for purifying the world’s air… That thought made me tear up a little and Tilly caught me at it – she laughed at me and said, “Are you listening to TED Talks again?” I can’t get away with anything.

She brought the most delicious ginger cake in today with all sorts of yummy ingredients, I’ll post the recipe as soon as she gives it to me, but some of the ingredients are rye flour, rice syrup, arrowroot and blueberry syrup. Sounds cool, huh? And it was completely moist and yummy. One of the things about working with these Renaissance women is that they are incredible cooks. One owned her own restaurant, another was a baker, but all the gardeners I have ever worked with have had lovely recipes to share. Perhaps gardens inspire one to cook or does cooking inspire one to garden… hum… it is true that to completely control the quality of your vegetables it helps to have a garden.

Having a baby and moving back to Maine, I have become inspired to cook and acquire ingredients in a way that I never did before.  I am filling my upright freezer that I got this year with all sorts of yummy things from my garden and from the organic farms around me. Saturday, a local farm is having a cider pressing – so Jack and I have decided to go pick some apples in preparation. I love having cider with my granola instead of milk (I know sounds strange, doesn’t it, but it is oh so yummy) so it will be fun to have my own this winter. It is the harvest! We also are going to set up our woodstove upstairs so we can store food in a cool cellar – last year we had the stove in the cellar which was nice and close to where we store our wood, but not so great for heating the house – the heat didn’t rise like we thought it would. We also need to get some wood from our neighbor. We use wood just as a supplementary heat source and I have been thinking it would be nice to put a greenhouse on the front of the house, like my neighbor has, to provide passive solar and for yummy greens in the winter… ah well, one project at a time. This year’s big project was establishing the kitchen garden, though I find I don’t have nearly as much space as I thought I did.

I have not only been thinking about our heating and food for this winter but what I am going to do so Yva and I don’t go absolutely crazy in our little house in the deep of winter. Yva has been wanting other kids and so I have been thinking about a possible play group situation that might allow me to actually take a gardening course of some sort.  I have been drooling over correspondence courses at the Edinbourgh Royal Botanical Gardens but I think what my finances will allow are our local Master Gardener courses.  I asked Jasmine, at work, if she wanted to take them with me and she said she actually might – and since I adore her, I think it would be a good way of beating the stir crazies this winter. There also might be a knitting group at one of the local farms that Yva and I might enjoy going to – a bunch of mothers and kids go.

All in all a I think I am starting to look forward to the garden season winding down…

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