Last weekend’s cold snap finally brought home the reality that winter is really here. I turned into such a sissy, and did some serious whining about the cold. Honestly, how quickly we forget. It has been nothing short of fabulous for the month of December. My quince is blooming as well as both my pink and white hellebores. They were shocked into reality last Saturday morning.

Right before the big freeze I picked my last cabbage. It wasn’t much bigger than a baseball but still firm. I sauteed it with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar until just tender, added some crumbled feta cheese, and piled the mixture onto some garlic crostinies. It was awesome and reminiscent of summer.

I love typographical errors that completely change the meaning of a sentence. Last week I meant to say, “It’s not too early to start onions, sage, thyme, lavender, or other hardy perennials.” It came out, “it’s not too easy.”

At any rate, it is easy if one is set up. I use a propagating mat set at 50 degrees and find that is warm enough, even in a freezing greenhouse. My onions and thyme both germinated in three days. That’s right! I was equally surprised and delighted. I cover the flats with a layer of bubble wrap at night but remove it during the day. I have yet to water any of the flats as the plastic does help in moisture retention as well as keeping everything at the same temperature.

I also seeded snapdragons which emerged in five days. Marie and I schlepped them to her house to stay under some growlights for a few weeks. They are hardy but not as much as they could be when it is in the teens at night!

A lively group of us met on Sunday afternoon at the Agricultural Hall for the monthly meeting of Homegrown. We got ourselves organized, thanks to Melinda DeFeo, to put in a group order for potatoes, onions, and leeks. We will send in that order before our next meeting on Feb. 19.

We were all over the place with our discussions. We spent quite a bit of time complaining about the huge amount of voles which seem to be taking over our gardens and lawns.

Complaining seemed to be the order of the day. We shared our tales of woe concerning aphids, squash bugs, slugs and the aformentioned rodents. Laura Binney brought some youth and hope to the conversations, inviting us all to the Permaculture gathering on Tuesday evening. Regardless of the problems with home gardening we all recommitted ourselves to the plain joy and gratitude we experience when eating homegrown produce.

Bill and Betty Haynes described the stew awaiting them at home made with leeks Bill dug that morning. We all appreciated the effort.

Violet and I attended the annual MLK birthday breakfast at the Baptist Parish House. We read and signed the pledge of nonviolence in honor of Dr. King. It is as follows:

“In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life and work, I pledge to do everything that I can to make America and the world a place where equality and justice, freedom and peace will grow and flourish.

“I pledge to make nonviolence a way of life in my dealings with all people.

“I will reject all forms of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice, and I will embrace the values of unconditional universal love, truthfulness, courage, compassion, and dedication that empowered Dr. King.

“I will dedicate my life to creating the beloved community of Dr. King’s dream, where all people can live together as sisters and brothers.”

We will send our signed pledges to the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.