My dad, God rest his soul, always said "If you can't eat it, it isn't worth planting." And yes, I gave him a beautiful wreath of collard greens at his funeral. He would have been so proud.
It's time to start planning for your Spring landscape. Here's a thought. Try growing an edible landscape. A mix of vegetables and herbs with a few edible flowers make for a landscape that will provide topics of conversation for months.
Learn to feed your family in a healthy and wholesome way, while feeding your pride and visual interest as well.
Go one step better, buy heirloom varieties and taste the difference. Heirloom varieties look different and taste better. They are not meant to have tough skin for truck travel, so they are tender. They are not meant to be picked green and ripen in route to the store. Instead, they are picked vine ripe. Your taste buds will thank you. No tomatoes I know of taste better than heirloom varieties.
It's a bit early to plant right now in January, but there is work to be done! This is a good time to prepare your soil. Weed seeds are abundant, so add layers of organic matter. Test your soil now, and amend it for planting in March and April.
When danger of frost is past, plant your veggies.
Squash is so easy to grow. Plant a "hill" of squash by flattening out a small area and placing 5 seeds in domino number fashion under a block of wood, or a brick. Remove the brick when they sprout. You'll enjoy checking it daily, so you'll know when they sprout. One hill of squash can be a beautiful part of your landscape and will take up about five square feet of space with sprawling beautiful leaves of green. You can eat the blossoms or wait to enjoy the squash. Yellow squash is a great source of Vitamin A.
The beauty and bounty a hill of squash provides will be something you can enjoy visually as well as in a culinary fashion. It will be something you can take to work and share. Squash casserole freezes well. And don't forget to save your heirloom seeds.