The Joys of Winter Gardening

There’s nothing like a sunny Seattle day during the long dreary winter, especially for those who like to garden. The minute the sun breaks through that cloud cover, even just for a few minutes, you’ll see gardeners all over the city trying to get things in order. For those willing to brave the colder months, though, dedicated winter gardening can offer rewards and surprises that feel extra special. Want to see what’s possible in the world of winter gardening? Here are a few titles to guide and inspire.

Continue reading “The Joys of Winter Gardening”

Farmers Markets

columbia-farmers-market1With the sun beginning to peek out of the sky a bit more lately, it’s now the time for the seasonal farmer’s markets to be opening. The Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance’s calendar lists Magnolia opening this Saturday, May 23, followed by Phinney on Friday, May 29, and Lake City on Thursday, June 4. The Columbia City Farmers Market opened in late April, Broadway on May 10 and – lucky! – both the University District and West Seattle ones are open year round. The Ballard Sunday Farmers Market has an official blog which lists what’s fresh now and has a list of neighbors’ businesses.  There will be a grand opening of the Meadowbrook Farmers Market, to be located on the grounds of the Seattle Waldorf School, on Sunday, May 31, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you are planning to travel around Washington state, the Washington State Farmers Market Association web site lists over 125 farmers markets.

Curious for more facts about where these crops come from? organic-farming2A library catalog search for organic farming finds titles like Organic Farming: Everything You Need to Know by Peter Fossel. Many cookbooks cover recipes with natural foods ingredients.  The Farm to Table Cookbook: the Art of Eating Locally by Ivy Manning includes yummy dishes from Northwest chefs and restaurants.

And, one could not mention this topic without asking when was the last time that you, a neighbor or a visiting relative went to the Pike Place Market? Have you been lucky enough to catch one of those flying fish?

Flower Frenzy

It’s flower season here in the great northwest!  If you want to get up close to fields and fields of colorful tulips, don’t miss the 25th Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

If you’d like to explore some of the fascinating history of these blooms, here is a bouquet of books exploring the appeal of flowers past and present:

Tulipomania: The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dashtulipomania.jpg

In the Netherlands in the 1630s, during the height of what would become known as “Tulip Mania,” single tulips were being sold for more than the price of a house. This slim fascinating page-turner Continue reading “Flower Frenzy”