Well I'm officially bored with winter and itching to get playing in the soil again so I wanted to know what everyone is doing to keep themselves busy in this, the never ending winter.
Me, I've started in on researching what I wanna do this coming spring and costing it all out. Plus playing with sprouting for the first time (I suck at it) and reading every gardening book I can grab from the library.
Usually I'm itching pretty bad at this point in the year too. It's like spring can't get here fast enough. This year I feel like I have enough winter projects between planning earthworks, expanding my rabbit herd and finding new markets for eggs that I haven't been so eager to jump into planting season yet. I haven't even begun to look at seeds and have no idea where I'll plant anything. I'm also taking a very relaxed approach with this year's annual veggies. I'm not going to try to pamper anything or start seedlings indoors. I'm just going to direct seed everything in poly cultures and let it do it's magic. I tried that last year in some areas and had awesome results.
In the meantime there's plenty of work to do inside too. I don't know if it's like this for anyone else but: Every time I fix something in my house, two more things break!
I was doing pretty good until the Guelph Organic Conference at the beginning of the month. Two days of workshops covering everything from vermicomposting for farms, to permaculture super plants of southern Ontario, to inspiring stories of peoples work, it definitely got the inspiration flowing. That and the 40-50 new varieties I picked up over the weekend, those definitely got the blood running. Luckily I've stumbled into the chance to design/manage a 3600sq ft garden, hopefully expanding it to include a managed forest (food and fuel) with grazing for animals (chicken, goats, sheep) to improve fertilization. I'm pushing to build a walipini as well but it'll depend on the schools finances and my ability to raise money by selling any excess veggies. I should probably mention that this is all for a local outdoor preschool, primarily to feed the kids fresh, local healthy food (by healthy I mean both nutrient dense and sustainable). So I'm trying to design as integrated of a system as possible to imprint some solid value in the wee ones. I figure a walipini would be the perfect fit, creating a place to warm up in the winter while still being in a natural environment.
I've also committed to growing an acre of red fife wheat and another of rye with a friend. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm very excited to learn how to grow grains from him. Even more excited to start baking bread with it once it's harvested and freshly milled. Possibly too excited, I keep itching to start more seeds (already got my chinensis peppers and celeriac started) but then realise it's a solid month away still before tomatoes get their head start. Luckily the Guelph Resilience Festival is coming up, which will be a solid week of natural building symposiums, the re-skilling fair, seedy saturday and ending with the community potluck for earth hour. Between it and the Organics conference, it's the perfect cure to the winter blues. Does wonders for stimulating and inspiring you to grow and do more for the community around you.
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