The Colts lost to the Chargers. Again. Deja vu! When the Colts are out of the playoffs, the dead of Winter begins in Indianapolis. That's when I start building my plans for Spring. I've already received a lot of seed catalogs in the mail. They're like wish books for me!
I was pleasantly surprised to find racks of fresh Burpee seeds next to the Christmas clearance items at KMart. So I bought packs of green onion, spinach, Swiss chard, snow peas and bibb lettuce. Those are the early crops. They can stand cold nights, even a light frost. So I like to have my bedding plants ready to go outside the minute the weather cooperates. I'll probably start these seeds in my makeshift basement greenhouse in February. According to the old time gardeners, potatoes should be planted on Good Friday, April 10 this year. I might try one of the gold varieties this year, so I'll be checking my seed catalogs.
I finally found the garden book I wanted to loan to a friend last spring. Now I want to read it again myself. It's called Small Space, Big Harvest by Duane Newcomb. Newcomb says you can grow over 200 pounds of produce in a 5' x 5' plot - naturally. I've utilized his space-saving techniques for years. Maybe this year I'll try a bona fide test garden and weigh all the produce.
(Note: Melissa - this would be a great book for you! Cheap used copies are available on Amazon! He has a chapter on trash can composting.)
I've been moving pretty slowly this past week. I cleaned the basement and stirred up dust. My particular dust allergy results in one very puffy, painful eyeball and a need for lots of extra sleep. I have bad reactions to prescription and OTC antihistamines, so I've just been sleeping and whining a lot. My practitioner recommended a homeopathic liquid and it seems to be working. I am pleasantly surprised!
I'll need some energy today! I'm going to drop my oldest computer off for recycling. Then I'm hitting the Winter Farmers Market. Tonight I'm volunteering at the Naptown Roller Girls first roller derby bout of the season. I'll be manning the merchandise table and selling those calendars with the GREAT photos. I'll get to sit in the stands with the loud crowd for the second half.
Back to garden stuff, I set a new record! About ten years ago, I managed to keep my garden tomatoes fresh long enough to eat my last red one on January 1. Well, it's January 10, and I'm still eating my own garden tomatoes! We had a luxuriously warm fall and a late first frost. The Romas have been the best keepers. The red onion is also from my garden.
I remember someone asking for a salad dressing recipe. Here's my default vinaigrette.
I use a clean salad dressing bottle. Fill it half full with apple cider vinegar. Add about 2 T honey, the juice of half a lime, and 1 1/2 t salt. Put the lid on and shake until the salt dissolves. Then fill the bottle with canola oil and shake some more. Grind some fresh black pepper over your salad after it's tossed.
I made a huge vat of chicken stock on Thursday. I let it simmer for hours while I was napping on the couch (and whining.) I froze some and made a small pan of chicken vegetable soup to comfort me and my puffy eyeball. I was, indeed, comforted.
Daddy Cat says, "Love dat chicken soup!"