A New Year. I start every January full of optimism and plans for the coming season; I think most of us do. For me there is always the need to make a list, improve the things I did not quite like, make big plans, and do a spring cleaning (early in winter!).

On the farm, we start the year with a jobs list. Our wreaths, garlands, lights, and trees that have been up since right before Thanksgiving are usually taken down after the first full week of January. I like to leave evergreens and a few white lights through the dark winter days (we are in a snowy climate) but the overtly Holiday trimmings get tucked away for another year.  The past few winters have been- in an old farming term- open winters. Maybe a little warmer than usual (a lot warmer last year) and no snow; the winds off the lake and over the fields can be biting and raw with no moisture. This year we have had some lovely (or pesky- if you have to plow and shovel it) snow. Not just a dusting but honest-to-goodness-snowman-building-let’s-sled snow. The evergreen and white lights look appropriate against the whiteness.

I will be making my seed and plant shopping lists. This year is really the year I want to do some amazing things in the production garden. The Barnsale Barn got a fresh coat of paint this fall- I want the herb squares and vegetable beds to hold up their end of the bargain. We get so many visitors; I really want that area to shine this year.

I was lucky enough to lunch with Josh and Brent of the Fabulous Beekman Boys before Christmas when they visited for a book signing. They are truly fabulous; I had a wonderful time talking shop with them about plants, bees, gardens, animals, and cheese. I was especially keen to meet them; they hail from my home county, Schoharie, in a very rural area of upstate New York. The people there have had some pretty tough breaks in recent years so it was heartening to hear how they have created a place of warmth and prosperity for the hard working folk in the area. Stay tuned, we discussed the possibility of collaborating on a special project.

So, here at the start of another year I have my clean pads of paper, my favorite pens, seed and plant catalogs, and a head full of plans to list off and begin implementation. I love the idea of the whole season ahead.

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