As I write this, the frost has come to our garden and taken the last breath of summer away. The seed pods that weren't gathered rattle in the cool breeze, and the leaves that once shaded me crunch under my feet. In the midst of summer's heat and humidity, it seems like winter is a distant threat. However, somehow the days slip into weeks; months pass, and before I am ready Jack Frost is knocking at my door. I've been known to run to the garden on the eve of the frost and pull up my hot pepper plants, roots and all, throw them in my truck to later be dragged into our farmhouse summer kitchen where I can pick the last of the peppers in warm comfort. Picking the last of the produce is like saving a memento from an old familiar friend before they bid you farewell for an extended period of time.
While I admit winter isn't my favorite season of the year, I do love the hearty comfort foods we get to enjoy. One of my family's favorite treats through the winter is cornbread. It compliments almost any meal. While I purchase our non-GMO cornmeal from our co-op, you can easily grind your own homegrown corn.
Winter is also a time for dreaming and improving upon what you learned from the previous growing season. Ask yourself what you would do differently in the new year to control pests, what new-to-you heirloom are you going to trial, how are you going to share your produce and seeds with friends? Perhaps on warm winter afternoons you could work on adding a potting shed to your garden.
As 2013 draws to a close let's take a few moments to think what we can do in the new year to encourage others to pick up the torch and preserve our seed diversity and agricultural heritage. You could plan a seed swap for late this winter and make it a party with your best gardening friends. It's sure to set a fire under you for the coming season, and it's a great way to inspire more seed diversity in your local community! Each year that passes is one more chance for us to impact our world for the better. It all starts with one passionate person.
In retrospect, what an amazing year 2013 has been. Each month has kept us on our toes. From trying to keep up with our garden to our monthly festivals and travel in between, it seems like we couldn't have packed more into a year than we did. To sweetly top things off, shortly before finishing this issue, Jere, Sasha and I welcomed our second child, Malia Maria Gettle. Born October 10, she was 7 pounds and 21 inches. We can't wait to share the joys of gardening with her!
I pray that your holidays and New Year are blessed, and I look forward with you to all that 2014 holds!
Enjoy this recipe from Emilee: Cornbread Muffins