Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Garden In Winter

Hudson Valley Seed Library, 2014

Last year I joined the Hudson Valley Seed Library.  I ordered some lettuce seeds and also got a free packet of miniature sunflower seeds.  The latter proved more productive than the former, and more engaging since it brought finches close into view while they wrenched free the mature seeds.
Planning the garden is one of the best things about winter.  What will I grow, how best to rotate the crops, when should I start the seedlings on the windowsill...It's a preferable thing to  spend my energies on than the pervasive cold and gloom that yet lingers.
A couple of years ago I bought a packet of Cherokee Purple tomato seeds, and since then I've harvested my own seeds from the tomatoes grown, saving then for the next season.  This is by far my favorite heirloom variety.  The tomatoes are large, the meat is dense and smoky sweet.  They're good just sliced up on a plate with a pinch of sea salt tossed over them.  I've already started one of those tomato plants, it's barely sprouted and by the time I can plant it in the garden I'll have repotted it at least once, if not twice.  But I don't care.  If I baby it along properly I'll have tomatoes in late June or early July, with the other plants then filling in with produce when this one is exhausted.
So, so much to look forward to - once this winter ends.

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