January in the Brooks Estate Garden


3 minutes reading

“A sacred act is performed and represented every winter, a moment on a cusp of nature’s timeline where a single act connects the past, affects the present, and determines the future.” – David Mas Masumoto, Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm

Standing under the cherry tree on a January morning, I’m held in silent wonder at the buds that have formed on the branches. These small rosy swellings develop around the nodes of branches; they are a sign of the coming year’s growth. As the buds unfurl in spring, flowers and leaves will awaken, stretching out towards warmer, sunny days. Amongst the cold, wet, and short days of winter, there is a promise of life, of spring, of growth. 

During this time in the garden, hands numb and face chapped from the winter wind, I find myself in silent reverie, anticipating spring. There is still joy in the garden in winter; I see it in the emerging shoots of daffodils and the flowers of the hellebores. It’s in the picking of kale and radicchio in the garden. With my basket of kale in hand, I step over the fava bean bed and find myself lingering in anticipation, looking for the slow unfurling of shoots through the soil. Even with my arms burdened with the greens of an abundant harvest in winter, I’m still watchful, picturing the long pods of favas in spring.

In the meantime, I watch the buds that are forming on the trees and shrubs. They hang on branches in their own quiet revere, planning for and anticipating spring. They sense the lengthening days, daydreaming of bees that will visit their flowers. I take strength from the duality of this time of year between the budding of trees and the budding of humans. A time of introspection, deep anticipation, and planning. 

This lengthening of days triggers my own planning. I sow radishes in the cold beds of the garden while arugula and spinach are tucked into the warm trays of the greenhouse. All the while, the buds are my cues and guides. I pause to ponder them as I prune the fruit trees, guiding branches toward the light, and creating openings and opportunities. Tightly nestled in the buds of our own thoughts, may we all take this time to be thoughtful and choose paths that awaken and revitalize the joy and well-being of ourselves and our ecosystems. This time of introspection has the capacity in trees to create new branch structures in the year to come. It can be the seedbed of change in us as well. 

– With Love from the Garden, Shannon

Farm to Table

This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: herbs, garlic, kale, onion, beets, jalapeno, and honey.