A Gardener's Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,
I hope you and Mrs. Claus are in good health. I pray that you are able to stay warm in this age of expensive oil and that your elves are getting needed rest in this too-busy season. I am looking forward to your yearly visit. Because things get so complicated this time of year I thought I would forward to you a very easy to understand, carefully considered, and practical list of last minute gifts for the gardener’s on your list. Because this letter is being sent late in the season I thought I would concentrate (mostly) on easy to find last minute stocking stuffers.

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Please believe me when I tell you that most gardener’s would love bags of well-aged manure. Because I live in the country I thought that, if your rounds can be timed carefully, perhaps your reindeer can make a “direct deposit”. I have enclosed a picture of the blue tarp that I will have ready for them. The tarp will make it easy to transfer everything to my compost pile. Please be aware that I am an organic gardener and that if Rudolph, with that questionable Nose so Red, is in any way not organic, than he will have to move off to the field to the south.

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Handling manure can be scary. Every gardener needs protection from e-coli and gloves are a necessity. My new favorite gloves are from Bamboo Gardener. I also love my well-worn Atlas Grips. You might consider a pair of Bamboo gloves for yourself and Mrs. Claus as they are a great choice for early spring and winter gardening.

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Many gardeners are no longer spring chickens. I have discovered that aging is a painful test for knees and that kneeling mats have become a necessity. I recommend two kneeling mats for every gardener. The trick is to kneel on one mat and place the second a few feet ahead of where you are working. It is easy to scooch over to the second mat and hop scotch the one you just left around yourself and so on down the row. You can see by my picture that it is time to replace my mats- – hint – hint! Older knees appreciate thick, soft, mats of a color easily spotted in the garden. Red maybe? Perhaps your older elves would also find kneeling mats useful?

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Listening to a radio while in the garden makes the time fly. Discussions, interviews, news, The Splendid Table, The Car Guys, and Science Friday are a few of my favorite NPR programs. I have an IPod for music but I am constantly pulling at the earbuds and wire and find them uncomfortable. A crank/battery radio is light weight and fits into a work basket. Do your elves enjoy the radio while they work or do they just whistle?

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Every gardener can use more pruners. I have a collection of Felco pruners for heavy duty work, small pruners that fit into the palm of my hand for light trimming work, and scissors for odd job pruning. Just so you know, Santa, the small yellow “palm” pruners will fit easily into a Christmas stocking!

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A copy of In Tune With the Moon 2013 by Michel Gros (I could not find my 2012 edition) will help gardeners better understand how to garden with the moon. Many gardeners are trying to understand the moons’ affects on their garden and this book is full of charts and easy to follow instructions. Did you know that on the night of December 24 to the morning of December 25 the moon is descending? Fires started during this phase will not draw well up a chimney. Should be a great evening for dropping down chimneys! Go figure.

Best wishes to you and Mrs. Claus and all your busy workers at the North Pole. I hope the elves realize how blessed they are to have steady employment and job security. Until next time I am, as always, looking forward to a Happy Christmas and the start of a new gardening year. I wish you safe travels.
Hey from the farm,
Fran The Country Cousin

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