It’s a rushed late Tuesday afternoon of work deadlines, I am tired and not looking forward to making dinner, there’s a foot of lake-effect snow predicted to fall on the two feet already out there but I am (thankfully) not out of ideas or –more importantly–ingredients for quick dinners. Tonight? Tomato soup and (homemade cheddar) cheese toasts, plus a greenhouse salad.
You see, all I need to do is run to the basement to pick up a jar of my tomato sauce, an onion and a head of garlic from their various spots in storage. Salad requires a greenhouse trip. For me, the nightly ritual of harvesting greens, chopping onions and garlic and washing and spinning salad is as soothing and as spiritually uplifting as religious services are to others. Thockthock says the knife, SssSss say the onions in their fat bath, Wabbadywabbady goes the spinner. Not quite frankincense and myrrh, sermons and communal incantations yet I become stilled, even if I am rushed.
And it’s last year’s spring planning that got me here on this January night. It’s that time again: have you paid close attention to all those seed catalogs clogging your mailbox? (Please note: there are worthy non-catalog alternatives, too.) It is TIME, people, to consider what you’re planting this year. And as you will see, the seed prices have risen in the exact uptick that the popularity of gardening has, or so it would seem to me. Granted, $3. for a packet of seeds is still a comparative bargain. Consider it an investment: think about it as an advance on your future.
Better yet: plan for more garden space destined not just for food harvest. Grow your own seeds and you might spend the grand total of $40 that I sent to the seed companies last year.
Yes. Forty dollars. Forty dollars, twenty-five of which were spent, crazily, on the sweet potato slips; fifteen seed-lousy dollars, plus seed-saving from years’ past, and I fed not just my family but–on average–four others this fall and winter. Greenhouses, seed-saving, succession planting all equal food security. They equal food security, even food abundance, and easy January dinners.
Get your highlighters out!