During the winter when passionate gardeners like us can’t be out in our gardens, what activities are good stand-ins? Planning our gardens, reading books about gardening, starting seeds, and listening to other people talk about gardening on podcasts. Do you sense a theme here?
We can get our needed daily or weekly dose of gardening through other sources. In fact, my sanity depends upon getting my minimum daily requirement of gardening all year round.
(I completely understand if the term gardening addict just jumped into your mind. I never said I wasn’t crazy about gardening, did I?)
I recently shared five gardening books to put on your winter reading list. These are great for cold, dark winter nights.
But, there are certain situations in which it’s difficult to read a book – taking a walk, painting your guest room, working on an art project, cooking dinner, driving the car…
Luckily, that’s where podcasts come in. If you haven’t jumped on the podcast listening bandwagon yet, make 2017 your year. They’re easy to access, especially if you have a smart phone, and there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there on every subject imaginable, including gardening.
Over the years I’ve researched and listened to many gardening podcasts. And I’ve even been a guest on some of them. Here are my favorites. I encourage you to spend some of your winter free time exploring and listening to them in the coming weeks.
One of the most difficult parts of winter for me is the total lack of color outside in my yard. My vegetable and perennial gardens are huge pops of color that bring me a deep joy all season long. When the gray days of winter set in I start to feel visually depressed.
This fall, when I was bringing some of my houseplants back inside I started to think about how I could recreate the feeling of a garden inside my house. In the past, we had all of our houseplants spread throughout our house in various rooms. One day while I was puttering around I had a flash of inspiration – I wanted to create a jungle of houseplants around my dining room table!
Our dining and living rooms are one big area and it’s where we spend a lot of time hanging out near the woodstove, reading, entertaining friends, and watching movies. We also sit down at our table every night and eat dinner together.
What better place to create a plant jungle?
The arrival of fall brings many gifts with it: open windows that let the cool breezes in, less (or no!) mosquitoes attacking us while we harvest veggies for dinner, crisp weekend days that inspire us to get out and do some the last yard work before winter, and a renewed energy for cooking homemade meals in our own kitchens.
Some of our favorite vegetables that we haven’t seen in awhile make their appearance in our gardens and local farmers markets – winter squashes like butternut, acorn and delicata, brussels sprouts, and leeks. It’s also the return of the spring crops like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, salad mixes and beets.
The days get shorter and the nights longer, and we start to feel a deep pull to break out our sweaters, light a fire and cozy up inside.
Fall is the perfect time to get reenergized about cooking savory meals and lingering at the dinner table with partners, friends and family.
Each season in the Flavorful Life Garden Club, the online community of passionate gardeners I spearhead, I gift the members with a small eBook featuring my favorite recipes of that time of year. We then choose a different one every few weeks and cook it together in our homes and share our photos and reviews with each other. It’s a fun way to virtually share a meal together!
As a celebration of the arrival of this colorful and cozy season, I want to share with you some of my favorite recipes that highlight the bounty of the fall harvest. It’s time to get back into our kitchens after the long, hot summer and starting cooking up a storm for fall!