Winter wanes

Even with this week’s frigid temperatures, I am not ready to give up on winter. I’d like at least one more good snow, so we can cross-country ski again.

Yet the season’s steady march is never more evident than by the increasing amount of light in every day. One afternoon this week I looked out the window and realized it was still light at 5 pm…and I felt a physical lift in spirit. The lengthening days turn my mind to spring, and to a whole new growing season. Last weekend I ordered seeds from Fedco. Thanks to the new growing lights Cherisse put in, I am once again going to start tomatoes, peppers and eggplant indoors. Some lettuce seeds will go in right away, in hopes of harvesting that early (greens are finally in short supply at the farmer’s market). We vow to be much better about using row covers this year, so I will once more try bok choy (cabbage worms usually decimate the bok choy). We decided against planting potatoes—they take up a lot of space, and last summer’s crop didn’t do well. Kohlrabi, celeriac, chard, beets, carrots and parsnips will all be planted (some started indoors, others directly in the ground), along with lots of greens. Hopefully our strawberries and asparagus will make a comeback, since we sorely neglected them—the protective layer of straw never made it on the strawberries, and we failed to weed or cut back the asparagus bed before the ground froze.

In winter there is time for fresh plans and new resolutions. This is when the garden flourishes in your mind’s eye, as the real thing lies dormant under last night’s dusting of snow.

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