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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
January 2011					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, January 19, 7:30 PM
North Branch Reformed Church

Dear GOSV:
Though it was the reason I was unable to attend the annual holiday party, I was fortunate to have spent the past weekend in the South Beach area of Miami for a family wedding. Guests came as far away as Israel, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada and New York and my wife Helene aptly called the reception a 'Carnival' enjoyed by all. The weather was perfect, 75 degree temperatures, no humidity and gentle breezes. For me personally, the trip besides providing an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends and to gladly leave behind an abundance of snow, actually went a long way to renewing my dormant gardening spirit. Bright patches of impatient flowers seemed to be everywhere, and then when I came across a robust vegetable garden of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, almost every type of herb, and finally lettuce as beautiful as I ever have seen, I thought it was May and this already harsh winter was long over. The unending stream of seed catalogues coming in the mail go a long way to getting the gardening juices flowing, but there is nothing like seeing and touching real flowers and vegetables. Stay hopeful, the days are getting longer and though as unlikely as it may seem, I recently heard a weather forecaster calling for an early spring. And read below, until some warm days return, we have a very interesting program next week given by our President and Dutch horticultural expert Marty Oostveen. She says:

"What is pollarding and why would you do it? In a nutshell, it is a manner of pruning trees into a certain shape. There are different shapes you can pollard your tree into: tall and skinny: umbrella shape or something resembling a candelabra. The Dutch have been pollarding their trees for a long time and you will see a parade of trees in all different parts of Holland."

Thinking back over the nearly ten years of writing these meeting reminders, I can't remember this topic ever coming up before and can confidently say the attendees are going to see and learn something brand new. So what shape would you want to pollard and remember this is a 'PG' rated club?

I end with some information about the party last weekend sent to me by Christine.

"Around (20) gardeners gathered for the annual holiday party hosted by Christine and Craig. There was a variety of great foods which was quickly consumed by all. Jim Laubach even arrived after spending three hours stuck on the side of the road when his truck broke down. Now there's a trooper. The group enjoyed lingering and discussing everything from pets to plants. It is always wonderful to stop and take the time to visit with good friends that have common interests and share a part of yourself."

Simply put, this is what GOSV is all about.

If you can't get down to Florida or another warm clime soon, make a point of trying to attend next week's meeting. Speaker and guests alike will help jump start the incubation process of spring fever. This happens every year. Then wait until February and March when the fever really rages!

Happy New Year!

Yours truly,