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Our January Vacation

Author Photo
By Erin Sheehan | Jan 8, 2015

Our garden is covered in snow and the thermometer reads minus 10 F today. Winter has certainly arrived at our homestead. I know most of you gardeners want January to pass as quickly as possible so you can get your hands back in the dirt and start growing food. And we look forward to that as well, but we’re also happy to take advantage of the opportunity to sit back and rest up for a while.

From mid-March through early November, Jim and I are full-on and all-out, growing, harvesting and preserving food. We’re serious about self-reliance, which drives us to squeeze as much food as we can out of our home garden and our community garden plots. As long as the weather and the rabbits and insects all cooperate, our efforts are worthwhile …. We finished up 2014 with a full chest freezer, a full canning cellar, and apples, garlic, squash and pumpkins in the attic. It’s a labor of love and the rewards are tremendous, but I admit that we breathe a small sigh of relief when the garden closes for the season!

Winter lets us catch up on inside projects. Last weekend we re-webbed a couple of summer chairs that had nearly broken through. This weekend I have a sewing project planned, “un-paper towels.” Meanwhile, my “read” list on Goodreads.com has been growing by leaps and bounds.

But leisurely reads of library books will give way to seed catalogs as January marches on. Although in a few weeks we’ll get out our graph paper and start planning the garden for real, for now we dog-ear the pages on the catalogs and talk about our gardening pipe dreams.

Growing our own food is hard but joyful work. Jim and I love the garden and we love growing food together. But for now, until spring rolls around, we will take time out to sew, read, play guitar, sing, bake, and cuddle the cats for a change.

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