January tends to get a bad rap as a month.
We blame Pilot for letting the rot set in when they sang in their 1975 No1 hit single “January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me”.
But as Josephine Nuese, author of The Country Garden pointed out, gardening really begins in January, with the dream. So come last year’s cold snap, or this year’s unseasonably mild weather, we kind of quite like January here at The Secret Acre.
As well as dream of new planting plans, crop rotations and seed catalogue orders, our New Year got straight off to a foodie start thanks to two Christmas presents in particular.
Firstly, the gift of a sourdough starter from a cousin produced a flurry of successful bread making in the kitchen.
Then secondly, the gift of a grow your own shitake mushroom box from a friend with form, produced a very tasty breakfast one later January morning.
Of course, there is no shortage of winter clearance jobs, pruning and general maintenance still in the garden when the short days allow. And some remaining winter veg still to harvest and enjoy, like leaks and brussel sprouts.
Then there are those very first hints of the dream, of the new gardening year ahead. From our nitrogen fixing ‘green manure’ field beans struggling to establish, to the first crocus popping their heads up on a sunny January day.