It really is winter. Predictions for snow are what I hear on the radio, we need a fire in the stove pretty much all the time, I've dug out my long underwear. Wasn't it only a few weeks ago that we harvested the last batch of marigolds?
I won't show you these plants now. After several hard frosts they are shrivled and grey, bound for the compost pile. I used to hate marigolds-too garish in the garden, but, ever since my first dye garden ages ago, I've been their biggest fan. They give great rusty oranges and golds and they are very prolific bloomers. I made 5 or 6 harvests this size this summer, despite a bad drought year. I dry them on screens or in the dehydrator, bake them briefly to kill any unwanted stowaways, and store them for future use. You can also use the leaves and stems, but I don't dry them, I don't want to go overboard indulging my squirrel-ish tendicies!