Snowball trees

With a winter storm advisory in effect and an inch of snow on the ground, it doesn’t seem to be the best day to talk about gardening, but I have been at it all morning so might as well do a post about it this afternoon.

Gardeners are an optimistic lot. About 180 of them showed up last week at the Green Thumb Gardening School held by the Master Gardeners. I think it is safe to say a good time was had by all.

Next week, two big gardening events are sharing calendar space: The Horticulture Symposium is being held at the Center on the Grove (Boise Convention Center) on Saturday. There are still seats left and we are offering registration at $40 to get you in the door. Call me at 208.890.7797 to register or download the form from this site (scroll down the page to the Sign Up Now post, click on Symposium Registration, download, complete), and fax it in. Since time is running short, you may want to call me anyway.

For those of you with acreage and wanting to know about food farming, check out the wonderful program being offered all next weekend: RuralRoots. RuralRoots is all about reclaiming our local food and farms. The conference is co-sponsored by the Capital City Market, Farmer’s Market Coalition, University of Idaho Extension Service, Land Trust of Treasure Valley and the Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (to name a few).

Since I am on the subject, I will keep on keepin on:
Eating where you live. Two very good books have been written about this: Coming Home to Eat: The Politics and Pleasures of Local Foods by Gary Paul Nabhan; and Eat Here :Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket by Bruce Halweil. I heard Nabhan interviewed on our local public radio station/NPR. He made an effort to eat only food produced within 250 miles of his Arizona home for one year. Think about this as you put together your garden plans for this next season. How much can you actually produce for your own table?

Kitchen gardens are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. I have always been a huge fan and grew giant trailing squash plants “Big Red Warty Thing” with my asters and agastache for a gorgeous border combination. Tomatoes and beans are trained up tall trellises, cucumbers and melons on the neighbors chain link fence (might as well be hidden with the vines of produce); arugula going crazy from March through November in the patio pots. No, it isn’t enough to sustain a family, but it gives one a great sense of satisfaction to be able to provide a little something for the table and to know it is 100 percent organic. Try it this year. Squeeze some vegetables into that hot flower bed.