The cold continues to bear down strong in the Upper Midwest, challenging even the most ardent cross-country skier or ice fisherman. I suppose it could be worse. At least we have a lovely layer of fresh white snow, with more on the way this week. Say what you will, but snow is better to look at than gray skies and leafless trees.
As an artist, my mind always drifts toward colorful images. While the snow has its beauty, I miss the colors of spring and summer. I miss strolling through farmers markets and garden greenhouses. I miss the birds.
I guess I’m becoming more like my sister who dreads winter to the point of depression. She travels to warm climates to find relief. I turn to my garden books and start planning for the next growing season.
We have decided that we will grow an herb garden. I prefer using fresh herbs whenever I can for recipes. Frankly, buying fresh herbs gets expensive. I’m looking into a cold frame greenhouse perhaps to start. I want to start small, yet I want to take full advantage of the growing season. A greenhouse seems to be a good option, especially in light of the fact that the only month it hasn’t ever snowed in Minnesota is August.
My goal then is to extend the growing season, so I can enjoy my culinary bounty for as long as possible. I’ve selected a few herbs that I’d like to grow. I use a lot of cilantro and basil in my cooking. Unfortunately, I use so little of these herbs that a lot goes to waste. If truth be told, use of these two herbs was my primary motivator for considering an herb garden. I was using too little and wasting too much.
There are a few other varieties I’d like to try too, like rosemary, thyme, and parsley. I don’t waste as much of these herbs, but wouldn’t it be convenient to just walk out into the lean to greenhouse and pluck a few leaves?
Well, thinking about gardening has me feeling better. Now, it’s time to start planning.