Fourteen Below and Thinking About Gardening

Garden Beds Waiting for Spring

Garden Beds Waiting for Spring

That was the temperature this morning–fourteen degrees below zero. You might say it was chilly. I wimped out on going for a run. I had planned to do so today but I stayed inside, stoked the fire, got some work done and even read a book. So much for training.

I have been thinking about the garden lately. January is the month to plan it out, to figure out what to plant, how much of it to plant, and where to fit everything. The corn can’t go where it went last year, but it can be planted with the squash. I look forward to sitting down with the legal pad and sketching out the garden plan.

Of course, it is way too cold to do anything with the garden at the moment. It sits under the snow, waiting for spring. I am glad we have snow cover. The blueberries and strawberries will fare batter with the insulation. And the snow adds an element of beauty.

The circle I carved out of the lawn for our garden feels like a work of both labor and art. I want to grow food that is fresh and tasty and that I can’t get elsewhere (Striped Zebra tomato anyone?), but I also hope it adds some pastoral artistry. I want it to be beautiful. That takes work and luck and a willingness to let things grow as they need to grow. Seeing what the plants will do with what they have gives me joy.

So I wait it out and dream of warmer weather. I love this cold snap we are having, even though I chickened out of running today. Winter just isn’t satisfying if we don’t have some days below zero. I have seen the mercury rise to six degrees today and now it is back down to four. Once the sun goes down, I am sure it will break through the zero mark again.

Maybe some of those cucumber beetles will take a hit from the cold. I won’t count on it, but since I am imaging a perfect garden, I might as well dream that too.

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