By Margie McCavitt
One of the most exciting things about the New Year is deciding what crops to grow. Annual seed catalogs start arriving around the middle of December-it’s a total psych up! The catalogs offer over 1000 varieties of unique vegetables, flowers and herbs. Flipping through the pages makes me feel the same way when browsing through an REI catalog…I want one of everything! Any activity that involves being outdoors, whether it’s gardening or hiking is what I enjoy best.
Typically, I select crops that are easy to grow, pest resistant and of course, what we like to eat. However it’s a thrill to select a new crop not previously grown before. This year, one I plan to try is celery root, or celeriac. My grandfather, a German immigrant, began a holiday tradition in our family after introducing it to my mother back in the 50’s. It’s grown for its large, white roots that taste much like regular celery. After washing the outer skin, I steam it for about an hour. After, the skin is peeled, it’s diced up into bite size pieces. Next, I toss it in a bowl with a combination of mayonnaise and Italian dressing (don’t tell Diane or Brook)! It’s a delicacy. We serve it on top of our salad with scallions and avocados.
2013 will be a year to expand on different varieties of flowers to grow. The last two years, I planted alyssum, zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers, mainly to attract beneficial insects and pollinators for the summer crops. This year, I hope to plant more cutting flowers. The wellness center is a good place for an abundance of color and beauty; flowers always seem to lift the spirit and renew the soul.
Wishing you well in the New Year.