Happy New Year! Here's to a memorable 2018 for us all....

Our frigid back yard this morning, after filling the feeders and bird bath

Our frigid back yard this morning, after filling the feeders and bird bath

Brrrr....14 degrees this morning in Raleigh NC. I just stepped out to fill the bird feeders and bird bath, and to fix the covering on our big pots of greens. We are due for a solid week of freezing or just below days, and absolutely frigid nights. What a way to say "hello" to a new year. 

Poor pansy....will it make it through to warmer spring temps? We shall see!

Poor pansy....will it make it through to warmer spring temps? We shall see!

Since Epic Tomatoes came out early in 2015, I've maintained a journal. I've found it to be a really helpful way to capture thoughts and memories, to "write out" the many feelings that occur throughout the busy years. This morning saw the beginning of my 4th journal, and I began by taking a look back on what was a very complicated, rewarding, busy year.

2017 saw my involvement in 6 interviews, 13 radio spots or podcasts, and the Growing a Greener World TV episode.....providing 20 presentations, including venues in Michigan, Connecticut, Washington DC, Burlington Vermont and Huntsville Alabama.....vacation trips to Seattle, Yellowtone/Grand Tetons and the Florida Keys....a sizable garden, lots of progress on the Dwarf Tomato Project (much more on that in future blog entries - we are nearing 100 new tomato releases)...and, sadly, loss of some of our beloved pets - Kip, our Maine Coon cat, in July, Holly, a most delightful dog we were fortunate to "share" with another family, in August, and our chocolate lab Mocha just a few weeks ago, in December. 

It was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic gardeners at events or in my driveway. We got to consume loads of delicious tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. I began to employ my daughter, Sara, for help with my endeavors, and, in the coming year, much will emerge from our collaborative work. We ended the year running a contest with the Victory Seed Company, and hope to follow that up quickly with some of my favorite authors and companies.

As for what lies ahead this year, some things are known, but much remains a puzzle to be solved in the coming weeks. I've got some eagerly anticipated events scheduled (refer to my upcoming events page). I look forward to trips to Hartford CT, Chicago IL, White Stone VA, Lake City SC, Gillette WY and Detroit MI, which is just a selection of this 15 events scheduled to date.

Sue and I hope to embark on a long cross country drive in the spring, focused on visiting our daughters and their families in Abilene TX and Olalla WA. We hope to hit some national parks along the way. 

If all goes to plan, 2018 will see my third book - the story of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project - as well as a new webinar series (probably the key part of my work with my daughter Sara). It may also see the formal closing of the Dwarf Tomato Project (we began in 2005, and after a 13 year run, it seems time to wrap it up - but we shall see). Because of my speaking and travel schedule, it may also be the first year that we won't grow a significant garden since 1981 - which was our very first garden. Little to no garden, few if any seedlings - yes, this will be an unusual year...but change is good! There is no shortage of projects and activities to fill the time - it will just be filled differently.

I think that's enough to get things kicked off in 2018 - Happy New Year to all. Thanks to everyone for their support and friendship - I hope to see some of you along the way as we make our way into this new, shiny year!