I love gardening and growing things. Some of my happiest thoughts about living in Hampton, New Hampshire revolve around the Victory Garden. My very happiest thoughts about growing up in a little Maine town come when I step into my grandfather’s barn and the dirt of a century hits me in the nose. It’s like I am walking in the garden with that old man, even though he has been gone since 1988 (I miss you, Opa).
But winter is a long spiritual and physical exercise here in New England. Even a glass-half-full, pounding sunshine, Vitamin D addicted optimist can get a little overwhelmed and befuddled by February 1. So here is my list of 10 things you can do RIGHT NOW to get your Farmer Jones Green Jeans on:
1. Order some seeds! You’re on the internet anyway. Here’s a few of the interesting seeds I just ordered from www.seedsavers.org/shop
Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon (“Victorian women carried these tiny melons in their pockets in the days before aerosol deodorants…), Small Shining Light Watermelon, Ring of Fire Sunflower…
2. Visit a garden. We’ve had such weird winter weather this year and there is no snow on the ground. Visit a place like the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, a public park, or your own backyard garden. Look for signs of life. None yet? Check back tomorrow! Start sketching out your spring garden RIGHT NOW!
3. Eat some locally grown food. Click on the link for Seacoast Eat Local in the blogroll and find out where to get some. I’m going to a winter market in York, Maine on Saturday and I know there is a terrific one in Newmarket (with great music, too). I’m eating a locally grown carrot RIGHT NOW.
4. Visit a gardening blog. Why play “Farmville” when you could plan your own farm in your mind RIGHT NOW? How about this one? http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/index.html
5. Go to a nursery and see what’s growing. Wentworth Gardens in Rollinsford is lovely and you can even combine “Winter Market” with “Go To A Nursery” if you go to Wentworth Gardens on Saturday, February 25, 2012.
6. Call or e-mail one of your garden friends. I think I’m going to send an e-mail to my Hampton Victory Garden e-mail list today and see how everyone’s doing. Maybe I’ll tell them to read this blog?
7. Read this blog every day for a month. Comment on the things I write. Encourage me to write about gardening every day for a month! (Thank you.)
8. Start growing some food RIGHT NOW! Did you know you can grow sprouts right on your window sill?
9. Put a seed catalog under your pillow tonight and see if you dream in flowers.
10. Swap some seeds from last year with your friends. Seeds don’t really have a “use by date.” They only lose a bit of their “germination power” every year.
There are a lot of things you can do RIGHT NOW and before you know it, it’s going to be “as soon as the soil can be worked.” Get busy!