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Archive for February, 2011

Growing some patience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About a decade ago, in the depth of winter when I was really craving fresh salad greens, I suddenly recalled back in the day when we used to grow sprouts on the windowsill. I renewed the habit with a fervor, proselytizing to everyone what a great remedy it was for S.A.D.; seasonal deficit disorder,(or lack of S.U.N.).

And indeed it is.When you just want to grow SOMETHING, it’s just the ticket, and for  much less than the price of winter lettuce shipped from southern climes, plus a jar and plenty of H2o, and whatever it takes to remember to rinse them a few times a day.

Seed packets gathered and studied, planting guides referenced, 10 day farm weather forecast bookmarked, I continue to scrutinize the thermometer daily .

 

And as I crunch away on a mouthful of  vibrant green sprouts, I am a little more patient as I wait for the days to lengthen, contemplating the miracle of a seed…

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As the winter progresses,empty canning  jars of varying sizes tend to accumulate at the back of the counter next to the dish drainer as we finish off jams, salsa, pickled carrots and other delights from the larder. All of the easy- to- reach spots in the pantry have been claimed. So now it involves hauling a chair into the pantry to get empty storage boxes down from the upper shelves, in addition to maneuvering around baskets of nuts, apples, and a rotating assortment of things that end up in there awaiting their proper place. Note to self: Next year remember to put the box of apples back outside when the mercury rises above freezing. Onions, squash,garlic and potatoes don’t store as long in their company. Which brings me back to my story.When I went into the pantry to get a box down for the jars, I saw that I’d left a few sprouting onions on the floor after I’d sorted a bagful to share with a friend who stopped by last night. (I’d noticed last week that a few were beginning to sprout, and since have been using copious quantities in my already-onion-filled repertoire, as well as putting the word out to friends with whom I trade ‘food for favors’ that it’s onion feasting time.) I soon found myself on the floor among a litter of papery red and yellow onion skins, sorting onions into piles to be used right away, those that are still nice and firm, and others which were so exuberantly sprouting that they were destined for the compost pile. Onion skins followed on my heels like a litter of rambunctious kittens as I carried the crate of onions across the kitchen and out the door, helped along by gusts of wind, which scattered them whirling across the yard.

Kitchen and pantry swept, remaining onions stored… Oh. Yeah. A box for the jars…!

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preparations …

Here’s an exercise for a cold gray February day: …Imagine a perfectly sunny spring afternoon, meandering along forest edge and trails in search of ripe salmonberries and their blossoms,wild rosebuds scenting the warm air…  If you didn’t yet have spring fever, that might’ve done it. I was recalling the day I’d set out to find the perfect ingredients for a design that would convey a message of celebration, since I just added it to my Etsy shop this week.

As promised, here’s a photo of the ‘Celebrate’ card design in progress. If you’d like to see the final result , check it out  here:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/67389273/celebrate-card?ref=pr_shop

Imagination is a powerful force-as I write, the sun is attempting to shine! I  put off my daily walk this morning with the hope that it might warm up a bit, and I just might have gotten lucky. Each time I set out, I breathe in the unique smells of the day as I walk along, and notice where they’re coming from. This time of year, it might be smoke from neighboring woodstove fires, or the earthiness of decomposition. Ever mindful of seasonal transitions, recently formed catkins hanging from wild hazelnut trees around the area have caught my eye, as I wonder what new ingredients might reveal themselves in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for photos and updates! Let the sun shine.

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