Monday, January 23, 2012

Things That Are Making Me Happy

There are many little things that are making me happy right now.  Today, despite the cold, I am feeling just the slightest bit springish.  It could be because I'm working on the garden plan  but I think it has more to do with the fact that at 3:39 it is still bright out with no sign of darkness yet...I'm  grateful for lengthening days. I'm also very much enjoying the geraniums I brought inside back in October.  The red ones bring such a bright splash of colour to our home and it is such a simple delight to have something blooming inside at this time of year.
Molasses Softies are a treat that have made me happy many times over the years.  I found this recipe when I was a child and it is still a favourite tea time treat - especially nice in the wintertime.  I've put a link to an online recipe, the only thing I've changed is that I don't use corn syrup so I substitute honey or cane syrup.
Being (and continuing to work on being) o r d e r l y  is making me very happy.  I know that more orderliness in our home over this next year will help to make our lives much more enjoyable as we go through some big changes this year and I am getting a surprising (to me) amount of pleasure out of the order we already have in place - such as weekly menu plans.  Truly it will never cease to amaze me how such little changes in our daily round can make such big differences in our enjoyment of our days.
And fortuitous book finds are, as always, making me happy.  Some weeks back I was cleaning out some of my boxes of books that have been packed up these last two and a half years.  I found an old Alexandra Stoddard book ( Living Beautifully Together) and enjoyed re-reading it SO much that I immediately ordered all of her books in our library system.  Books have always had a way of showing up in my life just when I most need the wisdom within them and so it is with Alexandra Stoddard's books - the timing is just right.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another Trip Round the Sun...

There's something so invigorating about a new year.  A fresh start - so full of promise.  365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, 4 seasons.  How will it be spent? How do we wish for it to be spent?  Because it will be spent whether we plan it or not.

I've got big plans for this year.  Exciting plans.  One of my dreams has always been to have a market garden - I love to grow good food and I love seeing other people excited about eating fresh food.  When I was a child one of the things I very much loved to do was to set up a little stand on the road by our house and sell flowers or rhubarb - it was great fun to me.  This past summer I was offered the opportunity to use the land where I've been gardening (for myself, for and with the landowner and for the foodbank) the last few years to start a market garden. didn't take much arm twisting to convince me.  Ahem.
So there has been planning and dreaming (not to mention organizing our family life for this big change) in the works since summertime and this past week I've started getting down to the details.  The Seed Catalogs!  Oh my.  For a person who, when faced with going to a regular grocery store, desperately wishes that there were only two kinds of toothpaste to choose from these seeds catalogs can get just a little bit overwhelming.  So many choices. 

It has been an interesting week narrowing down the choices and figuring out just exactly what and how much I will grow.  How many bean seeds of each kind does one actually need to get?!?  How many tomatoes would be reasonable (this coming from a person who usually grows around 100 plants just for herself)? How much salad mix of each kind to buy to keep one whole garden section continuously succession planted in baby greens from spring to late autumn?!? 
It has been quite a learning experience working on sorting these things out.  It is important to me to have heirloom varieties of each crop as well because I've found that, over the years I've been growing, old varieties often have the best flavour...and if you're going to grow food, why not have it Grown for the Flavour.  Mmmm, I like that, I think that would make a very appropriate slogan.  Happily I am almost done now, just the corn to get sorted.  And even more happily we enjoyed some delicious baby greens from the greenhouse - these will (we think) be one of our most popular crops for our customers.  I think it may be a very exciting year. ;-)