February 17, 2006

TO SOW OR NOT TO SOW (and I don't mean wax museums)

At at time when we have just vowed to live like paupers for the next 2-3 months in order to boost our house down payment, we also have decided to forego planting the garden. The garden aids in reducing our produce costs. We buy lots of produce! But, things are changing. A couple of reasons for not planting: We want to move in the near future (meaning end of Summer, beginning of Fall. We are mentally prepared and physically up for the challenge of packing up the junk and searching for a house. Renting has been a very affordable option. We are fortunate enough to pay a very reasonable rate for a house, deck and a yard. However, we can’t modify this house any further. We have done a lot of work on it but we want to do more. But we can’t justify the labor or expense when the place simply isn’t our own. We have lots of ideas we want to implement and philosophies we want to practice. We need a place of our own!

Secondly, we were recently informed that the wife of the owner of the house died a few months ago. The lawyers are assessing taxes and such. So appraisers will be coming round soon to size up our place and neighbor G’s place (also owned by said property man). While this doesn’t necessarily mean that our place will be sold, we aren’t taking any chances. We’re taking it as a sign that we should stay right on track with our plan to move. Frankly, we don’t understand why the guy has held on to these two lots as long as he has. Property is at a premium around here and a condo developer could squeeze in several urban units in this space. For all we know, the joint’s already gone. Either way, I hope we are given ample time to get out.

Alas, this brings me to the subject of this post. It makes me very sad. All winter I look forward to spring. When should I start my plants? Which plants will I grow? Where will I put them this year? Any gardener knows what I mean. But now there is no need to do any of it. And after I spent all that $$ on an entire new garden’s worth of heirloom seed. So I took it as another sign when I spotted Winter Gardening In The Maritime Northwest by Binda Colebrook while poking around in Twice Sold Takes. It’s an easy read and very informative.

Since winter gardeing might be my only gardening this year, I felt the $5 price tage was quite reasonable. This gives me something botanical to look forward to. Regardless of how insane the process of searching for, buying, and moving to a new place might be, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to sow some seeds as soon as I get there. I don’t care in what I sow, the ground, a pot, an old bathtub, but I will sow seeds and I will have a winter garden.

So we will be content with the local co-op and the farmer’s markets. We love those options and use them often. Still, it’s so nice to pick fresh lettuce and pull a carrot or beet minutes before cooking. And we will be doing more freezing and canning this year anyway. So what if the stuff isn’t from our garden? I still haven't purchased the pressure canner that was my Christmas present from my mom. Another thing to look forward to. And we are going to do more U-pick visits this year since there are some things that simply haven’t grown well in my past gardens here. Like peppers. Not to mention things we just don’t grow like fruit and berries (at least not yet).

Go with the flow even if you don’t sow.

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