It’s cold, both outside and in. We knocked the thermostat down to 65 last night. It’s 22 degrees outside. That would feel almost balmy if the sun were shinning but it’s dark and windy and it feels anything but balmy. While this might cause some people to flip through glossy advertisements for cruises to Bermuda or the Bahamas, dreaming of tropical beaches and drinks decorated with little umbrellas, I head for, wait for it…… my seed catalog stash. They are coming fast and furious now. Baker’s Creek, One Green World, Fedco, Richters, Comstock, I love them all. I know I should discontinue the catalogs that I don’t buy from. I should let Baker Creek know that I will not order from any catalog that can’t be recycled. I should and I will but I’m like an alcoholic. I know this is bad for me. I swear I’ll to do better and lay off the hard stuff as soon as this stressful time is over but it’s just another broken promise. I hide my stash from friends, neighbors and family. I dread the day of reckoning that will surely come with my credit card bill. I’ll have to explain just why I needed those trees, bushes and seeds. Is there a 12 step program for me?

Okay. So it’s not that bad. I have my addiction under control for the most part but an addiction it is. I have found it helpful to make two orders, my real order and my fantasy, if I only had a few more acres and a muscular yard man to do the heavy digging order.

On my list this year are some new things. Sassafras for sure. I’m hoping for a micro climate where they will grow. I have a friend with access to as much as I want from down in the valley where it’s invasive. I’m adding more currants, blueberries and blackberries. The wild blackberry canes that I got from a friend are doing well but the expensive thornless variety have just taken up space without producing anything but leaves and not many of those. I need more herbs too. Bruce got me a copy of the Homebrewer’s Garden for Christmas. Really. Sometimes he has only himself to blame.

My Fedco order is just about ready to go. I was good about ordering only reliable vegetable seeds with a proven track record in my climate. I need more soil amendments too. Corn is such a heavy feeder that it requires a lot of rotation as well as a heavy application of fertilizer to produce well.

I hired a friend to come help me prune at the end of the month. If there is one thing I need to learn it’s how to prune. It pains me to lop off healthy branches, even when I know it’s necessary if I want fruit. Thank goodness we are blessed with the best of all resources around here; friends who know what I don’t know and are will to share their expertise. As cheap as I am about some things, paying people for a real skill is not a problem for me. Maybe this is the year for the Arctic Kiwi to fruit. Now that’s a dream to fight the blues with.

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