View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Monday, January 28, 2013

2013: Hibernation is over, let's start planning.

It may not be quite Imbolc yet, but I can see a patch of blue sky from the window. Our winters here are dreary.  High pressure ridges that bring clear skies in summer just result in inversion and valley cloud in winter. The Dark Time, Halloween to Imbolc, is just that. My energy tends to slump in the absence of light. I don't feel sad/depressed, just lazy. The first hint of spring in the air changes everything.

Today the mountain tops are visible, it is still light at 4.30 and the gardener juices are stirring, pumped up by a post about planning from a favourite garden blogger, Erica Strauss of

Readers, I am embarrassed to admit how much I am learning from this young woman. She has been gardening less than 10 years, while I have 4 decades of grubbing under my belt. But she has a gift for organization that I sadly lack. I shall make grateful use of her talent.

My dear departed friend Beth James, in whose memory I give away Red Russian kale seedlings every year, used to make notes about farm activity and weather every day, in a big 10-year garden log book from Lee Valley. I have considered getting one like it, but the thing is expensive and I know what I am like. I would mess it up and leave a lot of pages blank on days when I didn't get around to it.

Erica has created a downloadable garden planner/record keeper that is only $16. It is good for years, a thing of  beauty as well as utility. It is infinitely adaptable to an individual's style. In other words, as casual or anal as the individual user makes it. I cannot imagine myself jotting down every penny spent on a package of seeds, and the prospect of planning for projects with detailed notes merely results in paralysis. But I will love a generous pile of garden planner sheets with the handy little squares so I can make endless changes. 

There will be a bit of money this year to buy boards and to hire help and get some long-postponed infrastructure work done. At the end of this summer I really want to have the entire top veg garden organized in boarded up beds made of sturdy 2x12 boards, I want electricity in the chicken coop, and a water catching system using the barn roof and the trailer roof. 

We'll start on paper. Life is good.


  1. Glad to meet you. And it looks like you are light years beyond me in the gardening curve -- even though I have the advantage of our Sonoma weather. One thing that just won't take here -- brussels sprouts. I love 'em, but I'll have to buy them twenty miles out toward the coast where it's foggier.


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