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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
January 2012					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, January 18, 7:30 PM
North Branch Reformed Church

Dear GOSV:

During a well needed end of the year holiday break, upon listening to a local radio show a guest whose name and profession remain unrecalled opined that due to the advances and in some cases an addiction to technology, most people nowadays donít give their brains a chance to rest. The speaker also added that this lack of downtime curtailed creativity and other healthy mental endeavors. Ironically, Steve Jobs who perhaps more than anyone could claim responsibility for the instant and continuous ease of connectivity was apparently a huge fan of resting the mind. Part of the reason sneakers were a mainstay of his wardrobe was to be in a position to easily break away from the excessive demands of work and take long unbridled walks, let his brain wander, contemplate new ideas, and ultimately change the world. As gardeners, the usually icy days and weeks of January/February are an ideal time to reflect, review catalogues and dream, all of which amounts to a short leave of absence from the day to day challenges of a hobby that consumes many months of the year. Though not mentioned in that radio discussion, perhaps a valuable corollary to brain rest might be to ramp up slowly which typically describes the early meetings for GOSV. With this soft start in mind, next weekís program will be an informal discussion on the how, when and why of seed starting. Hosted by Fred Yarnell, the Swans Fred and Alice, all told they probably have over a 100 years of seed starting experience and can be counted on to donate scores of plants at the May exchange. If time allows, I may take a few minutes to describe a frustrating fifteen year quest regarding the tomato which this year may finally be resolved not by seed starting, but by grafting, an old practice now being adopted for certain vegetables. Next up are the always enjoyable tease of the February flower shows, followed by the March thaw, and then the seemingly non-stop activities of spring and summer. So letís take advantage of this short lull, exercise creativity, and though we may not change the world, come up with some ideas for making 2012 a banner year.

Though extra early and nearly a distant memory now, everyone seemed to enjoy the December Christmas party. Having withstood multiple unexpected calamities including an electrical fire, flooding and downed limbs, the host home of Christine and Craig looked completely recovered and festive as always. Upon arriving, a quick observation of the entrees on the counter followed by the enticing aromas, one sensed this wasnít going to be a run of the mill holiday meal. Unbeknown to most attendees, Dottie Wright skipped a day at the office and spent the whole day cooking a wide array of wonderful homemade dishes. Thanks very much Christine, Craig and Dottie for your hospitality and hard work.

So seed starting with a touch of grafting is the official topic. Secondarily, beginning right now, letís rekindle our collective creative juices and think of innovations that can add greatly to both the club and the gardening experience.

Just a friendly reminder, kindly bring your dues check.

Happy 2012!