My, it's been a while since I've found myself in front of this blank page. I think it's been partly due to my will extending my after-Christmas holiday, partly due to our ramped-up winter busy-ness, and partly due to the coldest February on record for these parts.
We do see signs of spring on the horizon, though. We can feel that the sun's rays are warmer on our faces, and we rise earlier in synch with that giant yellow orb in the sky. Our local Seedy Saturday event came and went today, and there was a flurry of garden planning and eager anticipation before we bundled up and headed out the door. The seeds are now here, recorded in my handy little spreadsheet so I can track what will be planted inside, when it will ideally be planted, and where it will go once the time arrives to introduce it to its outside home. Yes, last night included mad scouring of companion planting tables, wishing that potatoes and tomatoes got along better (or at least could find one friend they had in common to go between them), and resolute determination to try out the three sisters method of companion planting. Fresh in my mind was last year's vow that this year would be better, and plans were made for preventing the onslaught of weeds and late-night waterings. Oh, and ideas for a quick to put together shelf by our huge south-facing window have been hashed out and should be doable within the week. I'm so looking forward to this garden!
Also on my mind is how to give this garden and it's much hoped for abundance the attention it needs with these three little ones in tow and a schedule crammed full of springtime fun and games. The first question that I've been pondering is how I'm going to look after myself. I remember the many late nights of preserving, chosen intentionally so as to avoid heating the house during the hottest part of the day, and partly because that was really the only time the work would get done. And it seemed to go on for days. And weeks. And months. So something to fill my cup is definitely needed to run the marathon that lies ahead. Something like waking half an hour earlier and doing a bit of yoga (outside, when the weather's nice, perhaps?), and soaking in the quiet morning moments sounds so nice to me.
Working out something do-able and sustainable for keeping an eye on the children while working in the garden will take a bit more experimentation. While last year's ideals were lovely (yes, I thought the combination of gardening and art would be alluring and keep everyone nearby), I soon found myself just trying to make sure we had all the gardening essentials. Potential fixes could include having the kids pack up their essentials the night before, having our circle time out at the garden, ensuring there are books and a blanket to curl up in, amongst other things.
In the meantime, I'll keep on simplifying here and there. I'll take the time to get myself organized so that when the time comes to jump into action everything is there waiting. I can stock up on stuff like Pamona's Pectin and lemon juice, vinegar and pickling salt, garden stakes and gloves, well before we're in the heat of the moment, and I find the rest of the city is also hunting for such goods. After all, I have a couple of months before I get to see and feel that black earth. The work done today will ease the load tomorrow.