|Garlic in the Snow|
Winter gardening, it's kind of an oxymoron isn't it? Planting and harvesting fresh green vegi's in the winter months, really? Now I'm convinced everyone should try it! If I didn't have my prepared garden beds I'd have pots and beds on my patio and small containers of started seeds all over my kitchen window sill awaiting their place outside. As much as my hubby and I eat lettuce and the like, I plant seeds a few at a time so I have an extended harvest, or in plain English....lettuce all the time!
Have you noticed the price of fresh foods lately? It's crazy! If you really pay attention to the quality of those fresh foods it's even crazier! In our house we eat a lot of fresh vegetables so anything I grow rather then buy really makes a difference to our bottom line. Heck, just keeping me out of the store is worthwhile. Farm life keeps me a bit secluded some weeks and the grocery store becomes an outing I look forward to (sad but true) and that is not the formula for walking out with only 1-2 items! So, when I don't have to make that quick trip to the store for the perishable things we seem to always need most, it saves money and time. Let's not forget the increased health benefits from the garden freshness too. The vitamins are at their peak when picked. For me, knowing exactly how the food is grown and handled adds that much more satisfaction!
|Arugula at 3 weeks|
|Tango Lettuce at 4 weeks|
|Onion that doubles as chive like herb|
The winter garden is also stress free. Less yield for me gives me more flexibility for the when and how the food gets from the garden to our plates. In the prime growing months when the bounty is brimming I sometimes find getting out there to pick before things get over ripe haunts me. Preparing that bounty before it goes to waste...I sometimes get stressed about that too. Don't get me wrong, I love making preserves, canning tomatoes or just preparing that fabulous freshness from our garden. Let's face it, when those vines are spilling over and the branches weep from weight I often have plenty else to do. So, winter gardening reminds me how manageable it can be and when it is, I am more inclined to enjoy it. It kind of re-exposes me to the 'root' of it all and I look forward to the bounty ahead.
I hope you will all find some seeds, whether you flip the pages of a catalogue or grab a pack as your standing in the check out of your favorite home improvement store, choose a vessel, and give it a try! I promise it will brighten even the gloomiest of winter days.