Monday, January 17, 2011

The highlight of my day

The older I get, the harder it is for me to get through winter with good grace.  I used to milk several cows year-around, which meant I was outside doing chores for a total of two to four hours a day even in the bitterest weather.  These days I leave it up to Cliff to feed Bonnie-the-Jersey-cow; after all, he's going outside anyhow.  
We do take our daily walk in most all kinds of weather; since we got our Muck boots, the snow doesn't stop us, and we know how to dress for cold weather.  That walk is the one thing that forces me outside on cold, blustery days, and honestly I do it more because I want to keep Cliff's ticker in good shape than for myself.  
Once flowers start growing and I have a little garden planted, going outside as soon as it's daylight is the highlight of my day.  It's exciting to see living things grow and bloom and change day by day.  
It's funny how, three years ago, I started gardening again just for the fun of it; now prices have risen so much that the garden is almost becoming a necessity.  It's still fun, though.  
I regret that I can't raise heirloom tomatoes; they have the best flavor, but they are terribly susceptible to blight.  My favorite canning tomato varieties used to be Big Boy and Rutgers.  No, they're not heirloom tomatoes, but they are also not blight tolerant.  I also used to love Ponderosa for slicing; it's an heirloom tomato, I believe, rather pinkish in color.  These days I stick with Legend, Celebrity, or Jet Star.  None of these has flavor that compares with my old favorites, but I do what I must to even have tomatoes at all.
I need to have a talk with Jennifer of Hidden Hills Farm, to find out when the best time is to start tomato plants inside.  When I can do that, I'll  have something growing, and that will be a boost to my spirits.  I envy people who have lovely house plants, because I'm sure that brightens up their winter days.  Unfortunately, I forget to water house plants and they die of thirst.  It's all I can do to tend to my tomato seedlings; last year I didn't do so well remembering them.        
Yes, from spring through fall the garden and my flowers are the highlight of each day.  
In winter?  My first cup of coffee in the morning is the highlight, and things pretty much go downhill from there.  
Come on, springtime!

P.S.  While ordering my twenty Legend tomato seeds, I found an improved variety of Rutgers that's supposed to be more disease resistant.  I'm going to give it a try!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

The one thing that is really getting me through this winter is having to care for my little grandson. What a joy the days are when he is here. I too am thinking about Spring. The days are getting longer instead of shorter will be here soon. 62 days if I counted right. Have a great Monday!

Lindie said...

The last 2 years I have tried to grow Heirloom tomatoes upside down in the topsy-turvy containers. Maybe because the plants use fresh soil and don't touch the ground they stay fairly healthy but they aren't very prolific though. I am trying seeds from Baker Creek this summer.Bought 5 new kinds. Brandywine, Mama Leone, Moneymaker,
Pineapple and St Pierre. Ever Hopeful!