The garden certainly does not look like this right now, but it’s nice to be reminded of summer when all you look out upon are beaten down broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel spouts, mizuna, salad and beets. My east coast wife will be sure to remind me though that it is no small miracle to be able to pick a salad in January (while in the same sentence wistfully wishing for snow). We may not be able to grow tomatoes well every year, but what we lack in heat, our maritime climate makes up for in moderation.
This is about the time the Territorial Seed catalog arrives, and I pour over it weighing the pros and cons of this carrot variety over another. I sketch out a diagram of the garden beds, penciling in the names of vegetables, their approximate planting dates, working out their rotation and placement according to height, where last year’s crops were, and light requirements. I’ve already top-dressed everything with horse manure (a guy I found on Craislist delivered approximately eight yards of the stuff until I finally had to say no more) and planted my garlic in October. I’ll be putting my sugar snap peas in the cold wet soil around Valentine’s Day like always, and all those brassicas I started way back in July will hopefully go bonkers in the early spring. Till then the winter is beating them with the ugly stick and Clover’s not helping as she tears around the yard.
This year will be a little different, since a toddler will be walking(!) around the garden with me. So anything sweet you can eat hand to mouth will surely be featured more prominently than usual. There’s probably nothing more fun than carrots, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas to make a little kid like their vegetables, and I have a feeling that after I point out which plants are the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries I’ll have more than the birds for competition.