Friday, January 11, 2008

Seed season

I am having a happy day, and it inspires me to think I may be able to plunge into the discipline of maintaining this blog a little more regularly. Seed catalog season is always a hopeful time for me anyway; maybe I love the idea of the garden even more than the thing itself. By late July or August I'm usually hot and bored, whether or not (perhaps especially if) the garden is producing well at that point.

I have six fruit trees coming this month, and I'm signed up to take a series of (sub)urban beekeeping courses a little later in the winter. (Ha! Winter! It's 51 degrees here today.)

My Simplicity group is talking about food this year, and I am going to make a concerted effort to eat more locally grown and less-processed food. I find this is more of a challenge with Progeny around, since he would happily eat nothing but McNonFood and balks at anything that was once grown in the ground, but we need to bloom where we're planted, and I'm currently planted in a household with a six year-old.

Since I'm making this grandiose gesture toward transforming my life, inquiring minds may well wish to know how I did with my last year's resolution. The answer is not so well, by one measure. I did not nearly make my goal of driving half as much as the previous year. However, I did shave off nearly 5,000 miles (which I achieved mostly by not leaving metro Hotlanta) and got a used car that gets better gas mileage. I haven't done the actual calculations, but I'll bet my carbon footprint took a big dip. (I also got a new furnace and a new tankless water heater, which were not exactly voluntary purchases.) So on the balance, I am happy with my progress but not feeling particularly self-righteous--always a danger when I meet my goals!

And while there are lots of interconnected reasons for buying locally (I'm sure you'll get to hear me pontificate about them), a big one is saving on the cross-continental and even global energy costs of catapulting one's food around. So I'm looking forward to this year and this garden. May it be a happy one for you too.


brad said...

I've been getting a lot seed catalogs in the mail lately. Another month or so and it will be time to order.

How do you like your tankless water heater?

Good luck shopping locally.

The Simpleton said...

One and three-quarters thumbs up on the water heater--the energy savings are spectacular, and we never* run out of hot water, but since the "demand" is run by flow, and I'm trying to save water by using the Navy shower "off" valve, there are occasionally moments of *omigoshthatscoldwhathappenedtothehotwater?

brad said...

I wondered about that issue. We turn the water way down for showers. We also have single-handle faucets on the sinks and I wonder if that will needlessly drive the heater for quick uses of water. Anyway, thanks, and for visiting.

The Simpleton said...

For what it's worth, we have a 1.6 gpm shower, and as long as it's actually running the heater works great.

Gee, I'm a geek.

Scrivener said...

I definitely hear you on the difficulty of eating more locally-grown and less-processed foods with the kid. My older daughter would pretty much be ok with letting me do it, so long as I was a little bit careful about how I prepared the foods, but youngest really just will not even put a bite of food into her mouth if she doesn't know ahead of time that she'll like it, which pretty much means, as you say, McNonFood. Sigh. I'm trying to patiently chip away at that.

Pattie said...

By the way, we haven't eaten at McD's in almost ten years--not since one of my children wrote a letter to the company saying she didn't understand why a salad wasn't offered in a happy meal and she was tired of paying extra for a toy because she bought the salad separately. She got a letter back that said they don't take suggestions from customers. That was our last visit.