I’m thinking “cold”, “lifeless”, “hibernating”. Hang around real gardeners long enough and they have you thinking about winter roots in a whole different way. Someone asked me weeks ago how my garden was doing. At first I looked at him as if to say, “Man, what are you talking about? It’s January!” Then, I remembered the brussel sprouts still producing, the winter rye, the green tomatoes slowly ripening in paper bags on the porch. Now I must chuckle when people say “what do you folks do to keep yourself busy at the Garden Center, now that gardening season is over?” It’s never truly over.
More importantly, what happens below ground level during the winter months is pretty fascinating. “January is the quietest month in the garden. … But just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come.”
– Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99
I often think about the fact that a lot goes on just beneath the surface – when you go to a party and see the house looking so nice, and the food so beautiful and delicious, our first thought seldom goes to how many days the hostess was cleaning and slaving away in the kitchen to pull off the festivities.
During this seemingly quiet time of the year, there’s still a buzz of activity at CGC. The large committee that pulls together the Plant Sale each year began meeting last Fall. The class planning for these winter months occurred some time ago. Community Garden Development Training will begin soon. Staff and committees are working now on events that will take place later in the year.
And likewise, let’s acknowledge that “still waters run deep,” and “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” What you see is not always what you get when it comes to everyone connected with us, as well. Your winter roots run deep. Some of you find a volunteer spot here to rest your mind and heart from hurt and worry. Sometimes I’m amazed when I hear individual’s stories. You may have a profession that is extremely stressful and/or unrelated to gardening and come here to do something very different. Terry’s fond of reminding us that everyone has a story. So, thank you for sharing yours with us. You’re a vital part of what makes CGC so special!