The gift of Epiphany (January 6th) can be extended in a broader secular sense to mean that what we have here on Earth is precious. taken for granted or ignored.
- No one can leave this world alive. So be determined to maintain a reasonable set of values.
- take care of yourself. Health is the primary source of wealth for everyone. Without it, happiness is almost impossible.
- Be determined to be cheerful and helpful. People will give you back in kind.
- Avoid angry or irritable people. They are generally vengeful.
- Avoid fanatics. They are generally humorless.
- Be determined to listen more and speak less. No one learns by speaking.
- I will be happy to give you advice. Smart people don’t need it, stupid people don’t care.
- Resolve to be kind to the young, sympathetic to the old, sympathetic to the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. At some point in your life, you will experience all of these things.
- Don’t equate money with success. There are many successful money-makers who fail miserably as humans. The most important thing about success is how a person achieves it.
Please order as soon as possible
Catalogs are piling up. We’ve all experienced the frustration of supply line interruptions these days. Nothing seems to matter—there is a delay. This year really doesn’t seem like the right time to procrastinate.
Now that the Holiday Cactus (Schlumbergera) is out of display, it can be pruned. Especially grand old specimens can be very clumsy and top heavy. Trimming and feeding after flowering restores and renews the balance. Use a well-drained, soilless mixture and plenty of perlite to root the trimmings into the pot. A plant for next year’s holiday gift.
As soon as the days start getting longer, it’s a signal for indoor plant pests to start their life cycles. This indicates the presence of scaly insects. From my point of view, there is no way to “completely and permanently” prevent them, but a combination of insecticidal soap and horticultural oil will keep the population in check without adding anything toxic to the indoor environment.
Many holiday plants, such as poinsettias and cyclamen, prefer to be watered from the bottom up. Allow the houseplant to dry completely between waterings. This helps control fungal gnats in the soil.
Winter vegetables: green onions
Negi is a member of the onion family. Not only that, using scallions makes any recipe tastier. I’m sure this is why the French have a love of cooking with them.
Potage bonne femme, a heated version of vichyssoise, is made with leeks, potatoes, chicken stock and cream.
Chives are expensive to buy. The photo shows the chive seedlings from the previous year, and the flower heads were self-sown. Seedlings were transplanted into trenches in early August to allow the branches to branch longer. While more elaborate recipes for stewed leeks exist, this one is simple and satisfying.
Wash the chopped leeks well and cut them in half. Melt enough butter to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet. Add leek and 1/2 cup stock and secure lid. Reduce heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Season and serve. If desired, sprinkle with grated cheese or serve with cheddar cheese sauce.
Winter Flower: Hellebore
Hellebore comes into its own during Christmas and Easter. That’s why we love them. Not only are the flowers large and showy, helping pollinators get out in unlikely seasons, but the leathery, patterned foliage is handsome in its own right. And maintenance in partial shade is easy. Remove any ragged or brown leaves now.
never happens here?
A preview of NOAA’s weather forecast through February 2023: bit.ly/NOAAoutlook.
From December 2022 through the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, heat and drought continue to threaten most of the United States (59%). The basis for these predictions is an ongoing La Niña, but there is much more happening globally. Hmm.
According to AgWeb, drought is worsening in the southern plains as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts pressure on global supplies, threatening winter wheat yields in the region. Some farmers in key wheat-growing regions of Kansas, the nation’s largest wheat-producing state, haven’t had much rain or snow since October 2021.
Winter wheat sows in the fall, goes dormant during the winter, and produces green shoots in the spring. At this point, soil moisture is critical for crop thriving. More than half of Kansas is classified as severe drought as of March 8, 2022, the driest state since 2018, according to the National Center for Drought Mitigation.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as of March 6, 2022, only 24% of Kansas wheat yields are rated as good or better, and 39% are rated poor or very poor. . That’s the lowest rating in four years at this point in the season, according to agency data.
While we generally feel blessed and isolated while here on Martha’s Vineyard, what is happening in the country and elsewhere in the world will eventually ripple through us. Again, the impact of rising food costs and drought cannot be ignored.
All of our groundwater comes from the sky. Trees make it rain. We cannot sustain this rate of development, continue clearing land, and clearing forests in the hope that our limited island can provide sufficient amounts of groundwater (PFAS-free) for our burgeoning population.
And that’s just one aspect of failing to appreciate the gifts our world gives us.