Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I think this is one of those moments when serious gardeners prepare their land and get to work. But when I listen to that wind whistling outside my windows, as I sit huddled in three sweaters beside my wood stove, as I sip my hot tea and read or write or... I'm in complete disbelief.

Yes, I should perhaps be out there tearing up last summer's tomato plants, plowing back under the remains of roots and weeds (or tearing them out), and who knows, maybe I've even some potatoes that survived the winter freeze (shows what I know, or not, of how potatoes work, hm?).

I read that this is the time to plant garlic and onions. Hm, nice idea. Ditto the time to lay out manure and compost and enrich the soil. Ahh, yes, I could give my goat cheese maker a call and see if there is more nicely aged goat turds I might receive.

Late November I planted Mâche leaves -- still looking good and still giving me a few dozen leaves for my salads -- and broccoli. This latter is basically a once a month (if that) source of kale leaves for a sir fry. I've 10 plants, and not a one looks particularly interesting or substantial enough to harvest. I wonder if and/or when this shall be? Or maybe I should be watering them more?

I simply have to confess that when the weather is nasty, I turn inside. I forget I have a yard (it's out back in any case). I only go out to get wood off the terrace for my stove. All my laundry is hung on the rack in my bathroom. I don't have chickens as yet to populate my chicken coop, and I manage to delegate nearly all trips to the compost pile.

A fair weather gardener? I'm afraid so. No doubt, if and when we truly have a gorgeous day, and I'm not galavanting about, or teaching, or correcting tests, or shopping, or cleaning the house, or getting the car fixed, or making muffins, or writing a short story... I'll be out there digging, raking, cleaning, and putting order to my small patch of brown and green. Truly.


Trishia said...

Bonjour, Madeleine!
I,too, have been lamenting staying indoors and yet I've not the courage yet to venture outside on a regular basis. The last couple of times, my torso was warm but I feared my lips were going to freeze off:) Winters make me feel old for I dread them so. Looking forward to spring!

Madeleine Vedel said...

Bonjour Trishia! Life's looking up here. Once the wind calms down, the sun is there to warm us up. My garden has now been raked over, the old tomato plants removed, and garlic planted... I've even pruned the roses and lopped off a couple of high growing branches on the cherry tree. We shall see! - take care - Madeleine