Winter Letter

Letter

Making plans for a big, 1/2 acre garden this spring? People are also considering an indoor garden,  perhaps with hydroponics, counter-top growing mediums, or simply  windowsill herbs and sprouts.

Where exotic vegetables were once only seen in upscale eateries or specialty markets, now single meal lettuces, radicchio, kohlrabi, and certain miniature vegetables are popping up in the produce section of supermarkets. Mix or match from the vegetable bins or buy the pre-bagged gourmet blends.

Predicted annual U.S. horticulture sales for flowers, herbs and vegetables will top out at $13.8 billion for 2017.

New and delicious this year: ‘Dolce Fresca’ basil, of medium height with dark green leaves bursting with true basil flavor and fragrance.

Favorite flower color combinations for container gardens this year: yellow orange, stark white and pale lavender flowers in copper colored pots.

Women who garden 15 minutes twice a week have less stress and fatigue.

Portable garden beds: vegetables are being planted in pick-up truck beds, then driven to schools and county fairs to demonstrate how produce can be grown anywhere.

Consumers like to see what their packaged produce looks like before buying. Bags especially designed to help retain freshness are popular in farmers markets. Look for them in light blue with vented slits along the sides.

Have you met any yet? Some produce department employees and managers in supermarkets are trained to ask shoppers what they plan to do with their purchases, and give advice on how much to buy to avoid over-buying and food waste.

Mix and match in the floral department of grocery stores: rosemary and  roses, carnations and mint, and mixed flower bouquets with fresh parsley and sage.

Foods rich in probiotics include kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut. These foods help populate your stomach with beneficial bacteria that may help calm a bloated stomach.

People experiencing mild insomnia at bedtime may benefit from a small piece of dark chocolate or 20 whole cashews. Rich in magnesium, nuts and chocolate relax tense muscles and calm the central nervous system. Also rich in magnesium: 1/2 cup of almond milk.

Blessed be, sweet ones.

~Meadow Walker

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