After months of unpredictably beautiful winter weather, the cold has finally arrived. While we are now more near normal with an expected Canadian Clipper coming through, the temperatures in December and early January have reached nearly 60-degrees some days and so I have found myself circling the garden; attempting to pull out a weed or two and dreaming of spring.
Shortly before Christmas, the seed catalogs begin to arrive and glory me – what fun it is to admire ripe red tomatoes, plump juicy peppers and huge heads of cabbage. Illustrations range from photographs to artistic drawings of fruits and vegetables making the pages as enticing as eating the vegetables themselves. Now comes decision time.
No one has a garden big enough to grow the many fabulous varieties of vegetables. So I must pick and choose carefully – you see, once we moved back into our house after the flood, we put the box of gardening things in the garage. Well…. there’s mice out here looking for trouble and they found it.
Every single seed packet was nibbled through and while they didn’t have a change to take all the seeds to their nests, they are scattered in one big pile at the bottom of the tub. They also chewed up the covering to build a new nest. I’m sure they thought they hit pay dirt.
As I interview people for our food culture project, I now understand the importance of farm cats. They lived in barns and under porches and served the purpose of keeping the mice population down. Of course, they lived in fields and I remember my grandfather or Uncle Art telling me they used to run up their overall pant legs. UGH. They just grabbed em and squeezed ’em and let ’em drop to the ground.
They are a part of life in the country, mice that is. And folks just accepted that and dealt with it. There are also birds, insects and the like put here on earth for some purpose, whether we see it or not. Rather than eradicate them completely, there are ways to control populations of varmints – out here, my husband tells me constantly to NOT throw table scraps out for the birds, it draws racoons. He’s right. But I try and feed the birds anyway… just don’t tell him.
I’m fascinated by the stories I’m hearing and I would share more but I’m saving it for the videos and hopefully future book we are creating… so you just keep coming back. I scored some more farm fresh eggs and its time to create some more goodies and I’ll share the recipe or video with you… until next time – Gute Essen.