Thursday, January 25, 2007

Feeling Seedy

Winter tends to be a difficult time for people who love to garden. The days are short and often grey and gloomy, and though we didn't really see much wintry weather here until last week, all that snow blanketing the ground tends to make you long for the earthy smell of soil and the brilliant green of spring's first shoots.

Perhaps that's why I've finally gotten around to planting some seeds.
I know, in a small apartment, where on earth would I have a garden? But don't forget that lovely big window seat in a huge west-facing window, just perfect for a half a dozen or so pots of fragrant green herbs.

I pulled out a couple of pots last week, along with the bag of potting soil and my tin of seeds, and I planted one pot with lettuce and the other with kale. It'll be a while before I see any sign of life there, but I remain, as ever, optimistic. I also planted a tiny cup of broccoli sprouts, and I hope to tell you more about those soon (they're growing!).

Without a large vegetable garden of my own, though, I do feel a bit lost. This year's Fedco Seeds catalog arrived in the mail before Christmas, and I have yet to pore over it, fearing that the temptation might be too disturbing. I never did get to plant vegetables at other friends' houses last year, and I don't know yet if we'll work something out this year, so I'm hesitant to read and start dreaming about delicious heirloom varieties.

I'm also a little disturbed by a post I found over on Groovy Green about the National Arbor Day Foundation's update to the USDA hardiness zones: turns out that northern Ohio has now moved almost completely into a whole new zone, thanks to global warming. What this will mean for growers in the long run remains to be seen, of course, but I think we can expect the results to be mixed.

Speaking of Groovy Green, here's a new post hot off the blog: "Revive the Victory Garden!" I absolutely agree... it's time we revived this idea and grew (and preserved) more food locally, on our own or in community gardens. All I can say is, "What she said!"

One of these days, I'm sure I'll have a more substantial garden plot again. The snow won't last forever. But the constant diet of canned, dried, or saved vegetables from the farmers' market with only the occasional store-bought leafy green is starting to feel a little old, and I'm eager to see a few new green things growing around my place (oh, you know what I mean).

So here's to hope, and to spring... and to the seeds of a new harvest season.

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