Tuesday, 26 October 2010

all set: growing in winter

The cold season has most definitely arrived. Two nights of frost and markedly colder days have surprised me. Autumn is my favourite season, in a melancholic kind of way. What I love about autumn are the colours, the transformation and preparation for winter. There's so much to explore outdoors, and indoors the preparation for winter, getting the warm clothes out, making jam, the business of the various festivals ahead of us (doubled for our bicultural family). I look forward to doing things indoors, making the home cosy.

And yet, every year, I get surprised by the sudden arrival of the cold season. I feel so very cold, reluctant to go out, and wonder how I'm going to make it through the winter. Oh and that clock changing thing - it makes me really irritable. Then, things fall back into some sort of swing and the cold stops feeling so cold.

This year, I have a lot of plans for my garden, yet can't do much physical work. So what better than to plant some easy growing winter crops, namely garlic and onions? Garlic is so healthy for you, and easy to grow - just separate the cloves from any bulb that you buy and plant them in good soil where you weren't growing garlic recently. Thanks to Homemademummy, I now also have a batch of winter growing onion sets. One raised bed is already cleared and the other one will be this week after the frost destroyed the still growing pumpkins, and if I have spare onions, they'll go to my neighbour who also grows her own.

This is the beauty of growing your own, the generosity and spirit of sharing. A pumpkin to carve from my SIL's garden, tatties, carrots and tomatoes from my FIL's garden, onion sets from a blogger, a total stranger. Sharing seeds, sets, plants and crops really is something very special, it brings people together and it feels so good to give and receive, it's always a very special gift because effort and love has gone into it, and yet it also comes free, it's a gift from nature, which is therefore only to be passed on as a gift. A bit like knitting, where the value is the love and manual labour, which you simply cannot put a value against - you can't ever make profit out of knitting, and therefore knitted items can really only be gifted.

This is the season of preparing the garden for winter, clearing all the old growth and it's a gift in itself that there will be some winter crops, overwintering just like us.

::This post is part of Urban Food Growing Tuesday. If you grow your own in urban spaces, no matter how small, and you blog about it, please share your post in the linky list below, which is open for one week::



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