For me winter is more than a season. I do not even follow the official start and end dates of the winter season. When it gets cold I call it winter!
Most winters in the Northeastern US are lifeless, cold months filled with a few fun holiday events. The short days, winter jackets and lack of warm sun drive me to the edge each year. This backyard farmer would hibernate like a chipmunk if I could. Since long winter naps are out of the question I needed to find something else. I looked to my edible gardens for the answer.
Sure there is not much going on in the garden these days, except for some kale, broccoli and hearty carrots. However, our edible gardens have more to offer than meets the eye.
There are memories in the forms of photos, dried herbs and preserved foods. There is also future planning!
So, I have come up with a scheme to keep myself away from the winter blues. Here is what helps me:
1) Regularly viewing photos from seasons past.
2) Making sure each month has something gardening related for me to do. Seed ordering is the highlight of my winter. My family and I spend most of December and part of January planning our upcoming gardening season and ordering the seeds.
3) Enjoying foods from the previous season. It is amazing how sentimental a few frozen pesto cubes can make me!
4) Sharing or gifting the herbs we carefully dried during the previous season. We like to get creative as a family and package up our dried herbs for holiday gifts, housewarming items or just because someone else deserves our organic recipe helpers.
5) Plan a vacation to someplace warm! There is nothing better than a trip to one of the warmer parts of California or Southern Florida to thaw out my Mediterranean soul. The minute I get off the plane I begin to feel better. Then the sights, sounds and smells of lush, green nature take over. I feel good again!
I hope some or all of these tips can help others make it through the cold. How do you shake off the wintertime blues?