On Sunday night, we received a fresh 6 inches of snow. It hasn't been an especially snowy winter around here, but it seems the more the snow stacks up, the more a little green sprout of an idea that it's time to start thinking of spring and gardens grows inside of me.
To be honest, last September kind of kicked the stuffing out of me -- what with the working 6-7 days a week and dealing with a seemingly endless green bean harvest -- and I've been taking the gardening off-season very seriously this year. As much as I enjoy using last summer's produce in the kitchen all winter long, including the aforementioned 3+ gallons of blanched green beans (so good when sauteed in olive oil with onions, lots of pepper and a splash of vinegar), it'll be a few weeks before I'm ready to meticulously plan out the vegetable gardens and place my seed order.
For now I'm content with grabbling over the big garden decisions in my mind. Should we expand the gardens yet again this summer or we content ourselves with the existing infrastructure, which would make the gardening a much more economical endeavor? Is it time to throw the towel in on growing onions? What about potatoes? Andy swears he lost sleep over the potatoes last year and although growing potatoes in straw did result in a delicious (if not paltry) harvest, I have to admit poking through the straw to check on the potatoes and finding salamanders living in the potato bed was not my most favorite experience. (I may be woodsy, but a girl has her limits.)
As these February days pass, I know I'll greet the seed catalogs in the mailbox with increasing enthusiasm. Soon I'll fill notebook pages with garden diagrams and lists of seeds to order. They say hope is for fools, but we gardeners are always rewarded for our patience and perseverance during the winter with that first little sprout poking through the cold, spring soil.
Are you thinking spring and gardens yet?