The Dirt Diva

Tailoring your garden to your needs!

Winter’s Rest


Today is December 27, and I’ve been catching up on things that go by the wayside during the gardening season. Paperwork, house projects, my social life, and… reading! With the wind howling outside and snow covering a very frozen ground, I don’t feel  much like thinking or reading about gardens.

The Catskills in early winter

Rather, I’ve been blazing through fiction, food writing and good old Jack Keroac. Winter in the Northeast brings a long and much needed rest to farmers and gardeners. At first sitting by the wood stove and reading for several hours a day feels like a guilty indulgence. Surely I could find something to work on? The 100 Glories of French Cooking by Robert Courtine inspired me to make a large pot of rooster soup with one of the 5 birds a friend had just processed and given me as an early Christmas present. It was cooked on the wood stove as I read A Moveable Feast, Life Changing Food Adventures Around the World , a Lonely Planet compilation of food and travel writing by several authors-including Mark Kurlansky and Anthony Bourdain! That went fast, along with the rooster soup, and I didn’t have anything on deck. While browsing the local thrift store the next day, a friend handed me a copy of Joan Didion’s  The Year of Magical Thinking, a sobering account of the author’s husband’s sudden death from cardiac arrest. After reading that I dug my CPR manual out of a trunk and read it start to finish (and vowed to renew my emergency first aid training this year!)

So, its not all unproductive reading. It leads somewhere! To be sure I don’t run out, I’ve started a list of TO-DO winter reading to keep me busy till the seed catalogs arrive and the work of planning starts up again in February. It includes: The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka, Jack Keroac’s On the Road, Paul Theroux’s Fresh Air Fiend, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. Maybe when I can see the grass again I’ll pull out Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway to get myself psyched up for the garden season! I’ll be sure to check in again once things start warming up. Till then, stay warm and eat well!

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