Winter is a time of renewal for a garden. It provides needed rest and restoration for the garden and the gardener. While the gardens plants die off or go dormant the gardener takes a breath and collects their thoughts. Organic matter and snow collect to enhance the gardens soil during the down time. The gardener gathers notes from the past and new knowledge for the future.

As my garden sits quite I’m able to reflect on my past accomplishments. Looking back I see how far I’ve come from the small patch in the yard to the acres that will be planted this year. I also see the numerous mistakes. Turnips are not commonly consumed in North Dakota so don’t grow 300 of them. Zucchini plants still take up the same amount of space as last year even though I’d hoped they had shrunk. If I don’t mark where I put things it’s a surprise when they come up.

The garden is collecting needed moisture and nourishment right now. As this is taking place I’m mentally preparing for the coming year. Seed catalogs are gone through, figures calculated, notes compiled. My wish-list is long enough to fill more gardens than I have so some compromises will need to be reached. CSA comments are helping to both narrow down and broaden what will be ordered. Some of the suggested plants I’ve never grown before, so research is being done to ensure the best growing environment and care for these plants.

Preparing to expand the garden I’m also expanding myself. Slowly learning to put myself out there and show with confidence that I can accomplish the task at hand. Digesting as much information as possible to ensure not only abundant produce but also the continued health of the land.

I’m thankful for this time that allows for so much silent, unseen work to take place. Not much physical labor is done right now and there is no visible signs of life in the garden, but the proof of what is happening now will be evident in the coming months. Barring any weather or nature related disasters a bountiful crop and more knowledgeable gardener will appear at the market this year, active and very much alive after a regenerative winter.


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