The New Season 2016

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In December of 2006, I wrote some thoughts on The New Season. The post ended with this comment--

"I enjoy communicating with gardeners on a few online lists. It is good to know how widespread the gardening network is, and how serious most of these individuals are about the importance of growing edible crops for their families and communities.
It was pointed out by one list member that we who grow food gardens might actually be referred to as 'farmers'. The reason being, that in modern context, 'gardener' is usually used in reference to the growing of ornamental plants."

Now, these observations seem as relevant to the gardening scene as they did ten years ago. I have lost track of the original garden group memberships, but have found friends in new garden groups and forums. Following favorite nurserymen, authors, and plant hunters online adds another dimension to an already fascinating pursuit. Photos and essays in social media posts bring gardens and gardeners around the world into my living room. Blogs are a wonderment, and I am a regular reader of a few of them.

The Winter has been spent reading, learning as much as I can about the soils and plants of the place we now live. I am still totally confused as to why this hot Summer, arid, shrub steppe environment is included in the Pacific Northwest climate designation. I am also learning about composting without leaves. A worm bin looks better and better. A well layered garden seems the way to go, excepting the areas where the Towhees forage.

Being a Seedaholic, another good bit of time was devoted to devouring seed catalogs, and some nursery catalogs as well. In spite of my best intentions, the seed lists grew like Topsy. Even with ruthless pruning of the 'wants', the total of the new 'gots' is pretty impressive.
Or perhaps just nuts. Aside from the pure pleasure of growing plants from seed, I love knowing that, for the most part, I am lessening the chances of introducing disease into my garden. With careful selection of seed starting medium, I can also avoid the chemicals that are so routinely used on nursery stock, often to the detriment of pollinators, other beneficials, and the soil food web, Big benefits, I believe.