In the middle of the cold, rainy days of January here at Cottonfieldfarm, I always begin to think about gardening and warmer weather. Yes, it's true, that here in "sunny" Florida, the winters are nothing like the Northeast is experiencing; but when the temperatures drop to the 20's at night and mid 40's by day, I start shivering and wishing harder for some of that warm, Florida sunshine (after all, that IS why I live here). It has been a colder winter this year, and we have had more cold snaps than normal, which will be great for the peach trees, but not so much for me. But the nice warm-ups into the 60's and 70's always get me through the rough spots and remind me that it will be warm and hot again soon.
At any rate, January is the month we begin to gather seeds and start planning which seeds to start in cups, which usually are the tomato and pepper seeds. But the best thing about January's dreamin' is putting in the potatoes, or as my dad used to say, "Plantin' Taters." My husband has already plowed the ground and marked the rows. When I see that rich, brown earth and inhale it's musky scent, I get warm all over with visions of spring planting and summer sunshine.
Years ago in our nation's early days, the lowly potato got many a family through the harsh, blustery winters. Today, when it's tater plantin' time, I gather new strength and energy to get me through our (mild?) Florida winters and look to the warmer, more productive days of spring.