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8 • February 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.


Gardening • FARMING • Agriculture & Education Cheering Up Your Winter Gloom by Kimberly Childers • kimberlychilders@att.net


Santa Rsa, CA. ~ Glistening white snowdrops in elegant full bloom, yellow, purple, striped and white crocus fl owers seem to ‘pop up’ surprising every day in the damp, green lawn. Won- derful varieties of yellow daffodils, erotically sweet scented narcissus and


other early


bulbs are start- ing to bloom, vibrant colors to cheer your winter gloom with their evocative fra- grance, perfect for bringing indoors and fi lling vases in every room! February is so teasing of spring, with pansies, primroses and deli- cious asparagus starting to tempt after the long wait for harvesting.


You might want to read ‘The Earth Moved: Remarkable Achieve- ments of Earthworms’ by Amy Stewart. Be sure to also check out inspiring garden periodicals and Podcasts that will help direct you in the February garden. Wild abandonment has been the state of gar- dens until now! The days are still


short, nights,


dark and icy.


Plants


have fro- zen, some lost for- ever, Gasp!


Hopefully most will begin sprout- ing, letting us know they are still alive and growing! It’s a


great time to divide over- zealous herbs, perennials, trimming back and shaping everything. Be cer- tain your fruit trees are pruned to a manageable height and density.


Fiori’s Buns & Burgers Is Now Open! Same Great Burgers & More!


(formerly Big Boys Buns & Burgers)


with copious amounts of well -rot- ted compost, aged manure of rab- bits, chickens, goat, horse and fi ne seedless straw. Turn your compost piles and rotting leaves which you should be saving for that much coveted leaf mold. Vegetable starts to plant now are all the brassicas like broccoli, Brussels


sprouts, cabbage and


caulifl ower, ready to grow in your prepared beds. Try growing, kale, crisp kohlrabi and so many kinds of delicious lettuces for your salad a day! Plant seeds directly in the ground (so exciting!) like carrots, chard, spinach, beets and fabu- lous, crunchy peas like Sugar Ann, climbing and bush varieties. Make the commitment to plant a bed of asparagus, choosing green, purple and/or white. Since it will be a per- manent bed, lasting up to 20 years, you’ll want to fi nd the best sunny


Clean up snail and slug habitats throughout the garden, no stone left unturned! Give a Chinese take-out box full of slugs and snails to a friend’s chickens or geese for Valentine’s Day!


your growing areas and raised beds Fill and mix


spot for planting. Google aspara- gus for important and specifi c planting and growing instructions that you’ll want to do exactly right. Healthy bare-root fruit trees, fi gs, raspberries,


thorn less blackber-


ries, beautiful roses, summer blooming bulbs and oth- er divine garden plants have been fi lling local nurseries and garden centers.


Try growing


your own tea bush, Cam- elia Senensis. Check out the fascinating history of tea, stages of harvesting leaves, different fl avors of each stage and be- come a tea afi cionado. A great little book to pick up, The Way of Tea by


Master Lam Kam Chuen is fi lled with lovely color illustrations, a wealth of amazing historical infor- mation and is perfect for gift giv- ing. Accompany with special tea cups, teapot for brewing or be on the lookout for tea sets, a nice val- entine.


Look for White Crown Sparrows in the garden, wintering here and singing very sweet songs which you can hear if you google ww- wallaboutbirds.org.


You’ll be


able to recognize their unforget- table songs. Make sure your bird feeders are clean and dry so mold won’t grow and pick up a bag of fresh mixed seed so everyone will be happy. For Valentine’s Day think fra- grance for gift giving! Bare-root or potted rose bushes, jasmine, lemon trees, and sweet herbs, creeping varieties of thyme for planting


JOKES & Humor # 3


After trick-or-treating, a teen takes a shortcut


home through the cemetery. Halfway across, he’s startled by a tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear, he spots an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at a headstone.


“I thought you were a ghost,” says the relieved teen. “What are you doing working so late?”


“Oh, those fools,” grumbles the old man. “They misspelled my name!”


edges of garden paths. Pot up a few bare-root strawberry plants which might very well become your dear friends strawberry patch in a raised bed, away from slugs and snails. Strawberry


pie anyone?! Visit


Bennett Valley gardens and tie rib- bons around a wooden crate full of Bleeding Heart in one gallon pots, fragrant winter blooming Daphne, camellias, multi-colored pansies, primroses and a nice selection of house plants, organic fertilizers and more! Be adventurous! You decide! It’s time to begin tending the again,


garden preparing for the


emergence of spring, that unparal- leled season of beginning explosive bloom and verdant vigor.


From


Ixia to Ismeme festalis (Peruvian daffodil), asparagus roots to heir- loom apple trees, fragrant freesias and Baboon fl owers, the quiet gar- den beckons. Tiptoe through the tulips and dance in the passion of this unrivaled season! Oh February, daughter of the north wind with icicles in her hair.


New! Char-Broiled Burgers!


New buns from Costeaux French Bakery and same awesome buns from Franco American Bakery.


406 Larkfield Center • Santa Rosa, CA • 546-6835 8 • February 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC. I realize that humor isn’t for everyone. It’s only for people who want to have fun, enjoy life, and feel alive. ~ Anne Wilson Schaef


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