Hello dear readers! I have been far too quiet here lately, but be assured that much of my time has gone to sourcing sustainable foods, cooking from scratch and generally maintaining a healthy lifestyle together with my husband. After a year of big transitions in 2016, I am very motivated this new year to build up our garden space and produce a nice harvest. I’ve learned after so many past years of missing the boat that this is going to require a lot of planning, time and care before the growing season begins.

It’s hard to believe, while we huddle up indoors under blankets and drink hot tea, that for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s already time to start thinking about our gardens this year! Many farmers and gardeners have already gotten a jump start, planting seedlings in their greenhouses. My seed order from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange just arrived in the mail and I am so eager for the winter weather to clear up so I can start planting! Last fall, my husband, brother and I spread a big pile of organic compost from Mulch and Stone over the garden. I had the soil tested over the winter through the Virginia Cooperative Extension with a kit that I picked up at my nearest Fairfax County Public Library. I found out that my soil is in need of more nitrogen, so that will need to be addressed in the coming months. Until now, I’ll admire the darling artwork on the seed packs, start planning out my planting dates and daydream about all the beautiful flowers and vegetables I hope to see sprouting up!

- Christin

What are your garden plans and goals for the year?