Now here’s something for the kids! We love Dover coloring books, and it looks like they have a nice selection of garden themed coloring and activity books this year.
I usually order directly from Dover, but many titles can also be found on Amazon.
Coloring a garden can be a perfect antidote to winter’s monotone-ness.
Visit doverpublications.com to see the huge selection of coloring books for kids.
My siblings and I have often joked about the many mysterious foil packages in my mother’s freezer. Big ones, tiny ones and every size in between. Some labeled cryptically while others given elaborate labels complete with dates. We have never been sure of Mom’s system, but we know it always involves foil and somehow–for her–it works. My brother coined the phrase “time traveling food” to describe the meals that magically appear, having not been seen for months, now piping hot and served as if Mom had just made them.
Now I’m a mom, and a woman with a deep freeze. And being a gardener, sending my food on a journey through time just makes sense. After all, when there are bushels of basil ready to be picked it has to have somewhere to go. I send it to my freezer, neatly packaged as pesto in serving size containers, labeled and ready for December’s pizza or January’s spaghetti.
Being a sensory person, my senses are thrilled each and every time I open one of my time traveling pestos. The sweet smell of summer! It’s here! It’s here any day of the year, any time I want it… I can smell it, I can taste it, I can see the verdant green that hasn’t been seen in living color outside my window in months. It is always at this moment–the moment of initial inhalation–that I question why in the world I didn’t grow double the basil and make double the pesto!?
Oh well, I will just have to ration the supply.
Because in a few months I’ll be up to my ears in basil again and thinking where in the world am I going to put all of this!?
Angela's basil of 2010, now residing in the deep freeze!
January is the perfect time to start thinking about gardening. Without facing any of the realties of gardening (weeds, weather, distractions, disappointments) I am free to dream up any garden I wish and explore ways to turn my dreams into reality.
This year, I have some gardening resolutions I want to carry out, based on the realities of last year’s garden and the hopes and dreams I hold for this year’s garden. Here are some things I’m hoping to achieve:
- Use my own compost. (This will happen barring any unforeseen problems with our new compost bin.)
- Preserve more food. (It’s January and we are nearly out of all our preserved food from 2010. I hope to do better.)
- Find more uses for herbs.
- Garden longer. (I want to keep some things going into November in 2011.)
- Document. (This blog will serve as documentation… I’m not a numbers person, I don’t need to keep track of numbers.)
Beyond this, I want to remain thankful for my garden whether I’m up to my ears in peas or weeds. Right now–in January–my garden is giving my mind a place to think about that is vastly different from the snowy abyss outside. And I am thankful for that. Come spring, the garden will be a place of wonder as the first tulips, garlic and chives poke through the ground. I’ll be thankful then too, for the food and flowers but also for the reminder that God keeps his promises.
In summer, when I’m making entire meals from things I’ve picked out of the garden, I’ll be thankful again. It’s hard to not feel grateful when biting into a garden fresh tomato sprinkled with bright basil and maybe a sprinkling of salt. And in the fall, while I’m lining up jars of jam on my shelves and squeezing bags of veggies into the chest freezer, there will be reason again to give thanks.
Happy New Year, and may God make your garden grow well in 2011!
My true garden love is vegetables, but I still manage to keep a few floral varieties around. I love the different colors and textures that flowers and succulents add to the garden. Flowers serve another purpose too: they attract beneficial insects to the garden. God’s amazing creation works in wonderful ways!
These are the flowers that delighted us in 2010: