Looking back, looking ahead

Christmas Day 2009

Kate cooks breakfast

Adorable gingerbread houses

Funny, but there is something about snow on the ground (yes, we’ve had a really white Christmas – very rare in Oklahoma!) that prompts me to look through seed catalogs and start dreaming of spring. Maybe it’s because the days have started getting longer (and also we’re also getting catalogs in the mail). Just before Christmas we received the amazing R. H. Shumway’s Seeds catalog. It’s amazing because 1. It is huge in size, and 2. It shuns photos and uses fabulous old-fashioned illustrations. I’m tempted to frame pages or use them in some craft project. Besides being lovely to look at, Shumway’s has a good selection of both hybrid and open-pollinated varieties, and the prices are good.

2009 lessons learned

  1. There is no reason to plant more garlic than we can possibly eat.*
  2. Save time and frustration – buy tomato, eggplant and peppers at the farmer’s market. They have a great selection.
  3. Start spinach in early spring in peat pots to replace winter greens.
  4. A late crop of tomatoes (July planted) can work well if you have a good drip system
  5. Start pole beans before May so that they have a good root system before it gets so dang hot.
  6. Try the Delicata squash again, and plant it a little earlier.
  7. Never, never put dried chilies in the microwave and then walk away! (I nearly killed everyone in the house when they started to burn.)

*In addition to giving garlic away to friends I’m drying and freezing it. To freeze it I am chopping it in my mini food processor with a little olive oil, and then putting into snack size ziplock baggies.

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