Greetings to our Friends & Fellow Gardeners!
First of all, we want to thank you for your support this season. We received so much positive feedback from you on the success of our plants, advice and classes. It is very gratifying to receive confirmation that what we are doing is really working for you.
On the one hand, we have closed up the nursery, taken inventory, and are starting to pack the plants in their winter ‘beds’. On the other hand, we are planting garlic, placing orders for next year, cleaning seeds, and preparing for our Holiday Gift Market, which you do not want to miss!
Holiday Open House & Gift Market
Last year we inaugurated our Holiday Gift Market, featuring unique and exceptional goods crafted by local artisans, delicious local artisan foods, and sustainable, innovative and practical goods for home and garden. Many of you told us that it was your best shopping experience of the holiday season, and that you found outstanding, affordable presents at Harlequin’s for everyone on your list.
This year most of the artisans and products will be back, and we have added more than twenty new products and at least eleven new artisans and producers, including Mikl!
And every day of our Holiday Open House offers a chance to escape from the same old mass-market Christmas music, as we will again present exquisite live music from some of our very best local talent: Margot Krimmel (harp), Jonathan Sousa (guitar, banjo), Colin Lindsay (fiddle, concertina), Mason Brown (pardessus viol, guitar) and Paul Visvader (guitar).
If you are receiving our blog, you probably did not receive the postcard announcement of the Holiday Market and Open House but received a link to it in our Fall Newsletter. If you have not yet done so, remember to print a copy of the postcard (click on ‘Holiday Market 2013’ on our homepage) and bring it with you so you can enter our drawings for three $100 Gift Certificates to Harlequin’s Gardens! In addition, at the end of each day of the holiday market we will have a drawing for a $15 gift certificate (so shop our holiday market early and often!)
Please watch for our upcoming blogs(s) with details about this year’s gift items, and our Holiday Open House schedule.
Mikl’s autumn ramble:
Autumn in the garden: the planting is done, or almost. The flowers are gone, or almost, and the veggie garden is nearly done. You can continue to harvest kale, chard, arugula, carrots, cilantro, parsley, leeks and other cool-season greens, especially if they were planted in September. For winter, it helps to make a tunnel over the crop(s) and cover it with a heavier row-cover fabric and/or heavy clear plastic. A more casual approach is to line bags of leaves around these plants and pile leaves over them to keep harvesting even in the winter. Straw can also be used to insulate.
Leaves are a valuable source of carbon, minerals and organic matter. Shredding them with the lawn mower makes them speeds them on their transformation into plant and worm food. They can be piled on the veggie garden and turned in with composted manure or an organic fertilizer in the spring to enrich and aerate the soil. They can be stored in bags to be added to kitchen scraps in the compost bin (approx. half and half). If they have been shredded, they make a wonderful mulch for roses, larger perennials, shrubs and trees, once the ground warms in the spring. Don’t haul away this valuable resource.
It does seem like the earth is flat, except for hills and mountains, of course. But we’ve learned that the earth is a globe that is moving through space, fast, around a very hot sun. As the earth tips toward the sun, we have summer. As the earth tips on its axis away from the sun, we have winter. We are now between the September 22 Fall Equinox, when day and night are of equal length, and the shortest day of the year, December 21, the Winter Solstice.
Now some days feel like autumn, some days feel like winter. When we were an agricultural society, the community changed with the seasons. Now as a culture, we are less in touch with natural rhythms. We gardeners are more in harmony with the seasons because we have to time our soil preparation, planting, harvesting and clean-up with the weather and with the seasons. But even we get caught up in the cultural bias for continual action and production.
As an older person who has spent most of my life outdoors, I would like to offer a few suggestions. Appreciate fall and winter as a winding down and resting period. Of course there are things that must be done, but allow yourself to be less ambitious, especially physically. Recharge your batteries and heal the body: reduce, relax, detox and unstress. Life is good; take the time to appreciate and enjoy.
Acknowledge the adjustments your body needs to make with each change of season and help the body prepare by taking immune-supporting herbs like Echinacea and Elderberry. The recommended way to use Echinacea is to take one or two capsules a day for 10 days, then pause 10 days, and perhaps do another round. If you feel you are starting to get a cold or flu, take a teaspoon of Elderberry syrup daily between Echinacea doses. I have found this approach to be very effective in preventing colds and flu. It is easier to prevent an illness than to cure one.
Winter is a good time to dream and imagine. Planning is also good, but there is no more fertile ground than open space. Take a break from accumulation and compulsive-doing. Things will come; they always do; no hurry.
Enjoy the glorious colors! We look forward to seeing you again in a few weeks.
All the best,
Mikl & Eve Brawner