January 24, 2010

Winter's promise

In the deep cold of January, with winter's short days and long nights, along comes Tu B'Sh'vat to remind us that no matter how miserable we may feel, spring really is just around the corner.

Tu B'Sh'vat, the Jewish "New Year of the Trees," may make agricultural sense in the Middle East, but what is one to make of it in Larchmont?

A sunny winter day with the temperature climbing past 40 seemed like a good time to find out. Camera in hand, I set out for a walk around the garden.

January 17, 2010

Aching for long warm weather

A small backyard garden is beneficial not just for your health but also for your wallet, as today's New York Times notes in a story about an effort underway in San Jose, CA.

Started by Raul Lozano, the son of farm workers, La Mesa Verde is part of a national movement to make healthy food readily accessible in marginalized urban neighborhoods.

"You can get beer in the neighborhood, but not vegetables," Lozano said.

Living in Larchmont, we have easy access to vegetables and beer, but we don't have something the new gardeners in San Jose take for granted: 300 sunny and warm days a year.

Looking out my office window at the cold rain falling on this gray Sunday afternoon, I feel a bit of envy for Maria Alarcon, who picks broccoli for breakfast and wakes to the scent of onions and cilantro wafting her into her open window. I am already counting the days till spring -- and planning my garden.

How about you?