I'm not sure how I feel about all these 'named' buying days. "Black Friday," "Cyber Monday;" both of these are occasions I can easily opt out of. But today is "Giving Tuesday," and while it seems to me that it's a sad state of affairs if we're not giving the whole year 'round, I'm also glad that the whole country gets this reminder to be generous. So where are you giving today? We give regularly to various local community organizations and schools, but I also support programs that help to restore native plants and open spaces. Today I decided to support a new (to me) organization called The Pollinator Partnership. As a beekeeper and a lover of native pollinators, I am concerned about the growing lack of habitat for insects, as well as the overuse of pesticides and herbicides that are really affecting their populations. This is an organization that does good work, through education, research, and conservation.
There are so many worthy places to donate your hard-earned money, and we can never contribute to all of them. But I hope you'll pick a cause that's close to your heart and give a little something. Wouldn't it be amazing if donations today exceeded amount spent on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? What a statement that would be.
I'm procrastinating a little this morning, because it's cold outside - it was 35 degrees overnight. But I need to get out there and pull out the tomato vines. They're just taking up space at this point, space that I intend to fill with Brussels Sprouts and Asian Braising Greens. A very close family friend asked me, "What can I plant in my raised beds right now?" which is a question I love, because it means he's inspired to get out there and have a winter garden! It's easy to do in parts of Northern CA, and where he lives (about 10 miles from me), it rarely frosts, so he doesn't have to worry about row covers. And, if he plants the right things, they'll be even tastier in winter. I told him to get started on greens - spinach, kale, arugula, and chard. They can be started from seedlings or seeds, just be prepared for them to take longer to germinate and/or grow.
The lovely thing about the hardier greens like kale is that you can harvest the outer leaves every other day, and the plant will produce new ones. So just a few plants will keep you in fresh produce for many months. You could also plant beets, turnips, and carrots now for an early spring harvest. And planting garlic is super easy - just buy an organic bulb from any store and break it in to cloves, then plant them. Cover with some straw or leaves and leave them all winter. In May or June you'll have a harvest. (This bears repeating - buy an organic clove. Conventional are often sprayed, like potatoes, to keep them from sprouting.)
Ok, enough procrastinating! Time to get out in that chilly sunshine and get some work done. Hope you all have a lovely day!