Tuesday, December 3, 2013

In the Dark

It was dark at 4:30 today and out of a gray sky fell a fine drizzle. Not weather conducive to working outside in the nursery, although I have to get out there and move and cut back plants.The dark days before winter solstice are upon us.

Have been working on two websites for two farmers markets. Am bartering website and publicity work for booth space. One market - The Old Winery Farmers Market - is going on now through April every Saturday. I'm selling produce, jams, baked goods, sprouting seeds and I hope to get some spices and teas bagged up for the weekend. The craziest thing I had last week were giant 3' long aloe leaves and I cooked up a couple of samples. I poached the aloe gel cubes in honey with a bit of lime and I must say they were quite good. The other market is the Garden Gate Market at Goldner Walsh nursery in Pontiac. This one is a brand new market starting in spring of 2014 where I'll also be selling produce. Since the market is at a nursery I can't sell the live plants.

The plants have taken a back seat of late. Ordered some herb liners to pot up as windowsill plants and I have a few things I am growing in the greenhouses. Kind of in a transition season. I hate to have heat on in the big greenhouse as there is so little in there, so I have to start filling it up. Will be starting another batch of edible greens in there ASAP.

The plants do very little growing this time of year. Reading up on winter growing, the authors have said that once daylight hours go below ten per day, the plants just kind of sit still. Many varieties of cold weather greens can tolerate the temperatures but don't have enough light to put on much growth. In the community greenhouse, plants are doing well as they were September and October sown but last year the greenhouse growth slowed to a crawl until February. The surprise crop for me are the green beans, long and ready to harvest right now.

The holiday season is here and I am gearing up to do baskets for friends and neighbors. Thank goodness for the dollar store and their myriad tins, baskets and bins. Packed right and with a few strategic bows, I should be able to make some nice gifts. Made a pineapple-ginger jam today, but that is destined for market.

I hope you are adjusting to these dark days as I am and that the holiday spirit is catching up to you. Not just that "gotta buy it now" attitude but one of peace and compassion for one's fellow travelers through life. May your days be merry and bright.

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