It's the halfway day of February already! Winter seems to be just flying by. Although, the fact that it has been warm and snow free for much of the time probably has a lot to do with that feeling. But as we start on the downhill of the month, I can't help but feel like things are going to get crazily busy before I've had a chance to get around to my winter projects!
The cold and snow have kept me inside most of this week, but I'm already thinking spring. I lugged a big bag of potting mix into the kitchen to thaw out, and by tomorrow I should be filling flats with seedlings for early tomato, pepper and cucumber plants for the greenhouse. I should be getting some herbs seeds very soon, and am hoping to be able to offer a few potted herbs when we open for the season. Plants for the main garden will follow in a few weeks. I'm excited about rehabbing the small greenhouse near the house over the next week or so, and using it to start more of our own plants than we have in the past. I'm also excited about getting a big greenhouse up, and planting the plants right in the ground inside. This will be new for me, although Dan did it for years. We had hoped to last year, but it didn't happen, mostly because of the incredible amount of rain we had last spring. But, we're determined to get it up and operational this time around.
Another thing that has me busy is preparing for the Farm to Table conference in Pittsburgh, March 23 & 24. I'll be speaking once again, this time on Heirloom plants, so I've got an hour long speech & Powerpoint to put together. I'll also have a table in the main hall both days, so I've been planning on how best to fill it. I've bottled some vinegars, made some mustard, and have been working on plenty of feather jewelry too.
In addition to my talk on Heirloom plants, it's looking like I'll be involved in a couple of other educational presentations. The local Lions Club is putting on a walk & educational program about diabetes awareness, and they reached out to us to partner with them. There is a meeting next week to plan it, but I know that usually if someone volunteers, they are put to good use. Also upcoming is to do some education on nutrition, organic foods and shopping local for families in a nearby town in a health & nutrition program. I am looking forward to helping out local groups, but also trying to get a good outline of what I want to say, as well as any handouts I might want to pass out, because I know better than to put off my homework until the middle of spring. It's impossible to stay inside in the spring on a farm, but for now, it's nice to stay warm and dry here in front of the keyboard.