Monthly Archives: November 2010

Learning to Plant with the Seasons

cabbageHere in North Carolina it is possible to have a garden year-round, as long as you know what you’re doing. Coming from areas that don’t have a grasp of that concept, I have had a great deal of trouble figuring out that spring isn’t the only season to plant your garden. In fact, you have two seasons during the spring and summer months, and then you have a fall and winter garden when other things can still grow, like collards, garlic, cabbage, or even pansies, if you like flowers. The point is that if you plan a garden in the Deep South, you have a different environment, and that environment affects what you plant, and your ability to plant more often, get more harvest, and also grow things over the winter. Where you live can determine what your options are for producing a harvest, both in the garden and in your financial affairs.

Winter Planting

This recession has impacted me greatly, and like so many business owners who feel a chill of economic winter, the best action to take at the time the worst of the recession raged was no action at all. The idea that you would plant anything in the winter never knowing if it will ever be spring is folly at best. Even if you got your garden to produce, odds are there are a ton of hungry neighbors who didn’t and will be looking at your harvest with hungry eyes. This is exactly what happened to businesses during the recession, with survivors facing even bigger threats from scam artists and fraud experts, not to mention federal government wanting more and more of what they’ve produced in hard times. While it seems outrageous not to try to produce anything, the fact is in the winter your best bet may just be to preserve what you have and wait for better weather. Unless, you live in North Carolina.

Can We Learn to Garden Differently?

The idea came to me this year, as I bought a bag of spring onions in the summer, chopped off the tops and put the ends back into a pot on my windowsill. I had heard that if you do that the onion keeps growing and regenerates itself and I frankly didn’t believe it. After a couple of months of no growth, I got tired of watering it and the basil around it had died. So, I set the pot outside and forgot about it. By the end of the summer, I had a whole new set of onions and I could scarcely believe my eyes. In addition, garlic was coming up from bulbs I had thrown out of my garlic drawer and dumped into another pot. They didn’t grow well until fall and the cooler weather and there they are growing now. That’s when I realized some things like to grow in the winter and often times it’s what we throw out in the summer. I began to see the glimmer of a way to produce year-round, a concept that had thus far eluded me.

For Everything Under Heaven

Where I live is going to impact what season I am experiencing, but even so, there is a season for everything under heaven, it’s just a matter of paying attention and synchronizing your actions so that they are in step with the prevailing winds. This way, you are learning to produce by lending energies to existing potentials, not fighting against circumstances that you literally cannot change. It’s a way of preserving your energies, while supporting other energies that are meant for growth. By doing so, you can get out of winter with a head start and a garden ready to burst when spring comes along.