New Year, New Growth

Happy New Year to you all!

Thanks for being a part of the inaugural year of Forks in the Dirt!
I hope you had as much fun as I did!

Writing from the frozen tundra of Minnesota this first morning of 2018 (a brisk -13° F) I know the temperature means no gardening for even the toughest Midwest gals; for example our chickens have also decided to stay inside today. And yet, I appreciate the way our extreme seasons keep me tethered to the cycles of our planet. My love for this earth grows deeper every year I grow food with its help.

The best way for me to use these frozen months is to dream big for the coming year. Being able to cozy up with seed catalogs, look back through garden pictures from the previous summer, think about what we ate and what we wanted to eat more of… Having time to regroup for the upcoming season is a gift; I remind myself as I look longingly at the snow drifted garden beds.

The best way to get my imagination rolling have always been books, and now and online research too.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there. I’ve gotten lost for hours ending up on the farthest ‘out there’ branches of my original quest… ( succession planting, rotational gardening, clean food recipes, etc) but those times have let me weed out the useless sites and pick the ripest, juiciest sites truly worth our time.

Here are a few of my favorite Links:

Savvy Gardening: regular contributor Niki Jabbour is queen of season extension and one of my gardening heroes. Real Info for real gardeners

100 Days of Real Food: This was where I first went for recipe inspiration using real, clean food- and still refer to it often.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  One of the first books I read about growing more of your own food and the impact eating  local can make. Now a website with info and recipes. Plus, Barbara Kingsolver is a favorite author of mine 🙂

Civil Eats: So much information about food systems and environment, all broken down in bite size pieces. If you’re ready to dig deeper they recently listed their favorite food and farming books of 2017 .

I’ll stop there, but if there’s a foodie, farmer or gardening topic you’re curious about, I probably have a link for that. I do have more info links on my Do Good Page.

My personal goals for 2018 include:
*Planning for and planting our doubled vegetable garden space,
*Preserving more of my own food (dehydrating, freezing, fermenting and canning),
*Finding a local sustainable source for organic oats and chicken meat,
*Becoming a better Chicken + Boy Mom
*Finding more of that elusive “Balance”

My 2018 goals for Forks in the Dirt include:
*Meeting and writing about more local farmers,
*Inspiring awareness in the food choices we make,
*Expanding the White Bear Lake Winter Farmers Market.

What are your gardening and food goals for 2018??
Let me know and we can work on them together!

Wishing you many chances to dig in and grow in new ways in 2018.




  1. Love your blog! Happy New Year Michelle!

    • Leslie, Thanks for following along! Part of my passion started back when exploring plants at a few of the MN Herbalist guild meetings with you and Torey 🙂 All the best to you and yours in 2018 my friend!

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