Sunday, January 10, 2010

no. 13: winter projects

This winter break has served as a great opportunity for me to catch up on some projects I've been meaning to get to. Natalie and I have really tried to take advantage of the time off from school to work on things around the house and spend time on personal projects. Breaks from school are a treasured time--an opportunity we can't let pass us by.
I've been spending time counting seeds and planning for a student farm that I'll take part in this growing season. This has meant sitting at my desk with a scale and a box full of seed packages. I catalogued thousands of seeds: peas, radishes, beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, watermelon. It was amazing looking at all the tiny seeds and imagining that each one of them held the potential to become a food-producing plant. A handful of radish seeds could become hundreds of individual radishes, each unique, beautiful and delicious.

For the student farm, I've also been reading some gardening books and looking through seed catalogues. This has gotten me really excited about the approaching spring and working the earth to grow vegetables. The winter provides the opportunity to get out the paper and start planning. Crop rotations, row spacing, companion planting, cultivation--there is so much to keep in mind when planning a garden. But I have thoroughly enjoyed all the reading I've been doing and all the knowledge I've gleaned through this planning process. Still, there is a lot of work ahead of us.

For those of you interested in starting a garden of your own this spring, now is the time to prepare. Think of an easily-accessible plot of ground close to home that could be transformed into a personal garden. Think of what you want to grow, starting with the cool-season spring crops. Think of how much seed you'll need, get a seed catalogue and go ahead and put in an order.
Here are some resources to help:

Happy planning!

sometimes you've just gotta say, "no." i realize that this is probably a weird way of starting an entry, but just bare with me. but really, sometimes you have to give yourself time. the time to relax, the time to sink into your own thoughts, the time to create.

as a little girl, i could not stand the word, "no." i never understood why my mother always wanted to relax on the weekends & stay in. now, and more than ever, i am beginning to understand. time is precious. sometimes i look at the calendar & i do not get how that week has passed me by or how it is already a new year. but time, oh... it continues to move. it continues to plunge ahead & leave us wondering "how" and "why" and "when did that happen?"

but this break has helped me to understand a little bit more about myself. i just need to say "no" a little more often. i need to say "no" to those couple of extra hours at work. i need to say "no" to cramming in that lunch date in between that meeting & that commitment. i need to say "no" to going to bed to relieve the stress & say quite a bit more "yes" to spending time working with my hands. "yes" to creating something new. "yes" to digging deep into my talents. "yes" to dusting off that sewing machine i said i'd start using two years ago. "yes" to those crocheting needles that have yet to create a blanket or pair of gloves or socks.

so, lets all say "yes" to a little more time creating.
"yes" to opening up a gardening book & watching something grow.
"yes" to spending time with your spouse or partner or significant other in a garden or in a dark room or at the park or watching your favorite movie.
"yes" to a little time off & a little less money in your pocket.
"yes" to knowing yourself a little deeper & gaining so much happiness along the journey.

thank you so much for reading.


  1. I'm so excited now too. i can't to start growing my own vegetables and fruits. winter is long.

  2. I plan to grow a garden in the ground this year---not containers. I'm excited!!!

  3. so nice l+n! luke, it's so fun to dream about the spring garden. natalie, i love the idea of saying yes to more creative, hands on time. hope you two have a beautiful week!

  4. yes!
    these photos are gorgeous. that blue table is a beautiful backdrop for seeds and beads alike!
    I need to get started on my garden plans, too.

  5. WOAH, I am kind of obsessed with that first photo of Luke's. Also, Natalie, in addition to finally teaching me how to knit, haha, I might demand a felting lesson.