A Really Late Harvest

Incredible but true: we’re still harvesting some of last year’s crops.

When the snow hit the day after Christmas, we hadn’t dug out the leeks. (Or harvested the Brussel sprouts and onions.) Between one snow storm or another or another, we had snow on the ground for about nine weeks. By time it had melted, the onions and sprouts were history, but the leeks looked great. A few dozen plants means we’re still eating them and will need to get the last of them out just in time to plant this year’s crop!

Arugula in mid-February

The Brit had planted some arugula late in the fall, protected by a cold frame. It, too, got buried in the snow, and we figured that if nothing else, the lack of light would have put an end to those greens. But, they, too survived and have thrived in the past month, with more light finally getting through. They are being mixed into our salads.

As for those mushrooms: the second crop was better, probably because I gave up on that little sprayer and just drenched them. But overall, I vote for buying them at the store.


Seeds, glorious seeds

It’s Groundhog Day and no matter whether you believe all that about the shadow, it really is six weeks or so until the first official day of spring. (For the record, no sign of that fat groundhog living under our deck.) And while I promised I would hold back on seeds this year and buy only what is absolutely necessary (so probably nothing), my resolve went out the window when I came across a bookmark I created a few years ago to www.valueseeds.com. Only 99 cents! Flat $1.99 shipping! And once I started looking, I was lost.

This obviously doesn’t have the variety and depth of the Burpee catalogue, but striped beets? Arugula — need that. Can’t have enough coriander either. Rainbow chard caught my eye too late last year, and I still have regular chard seeds. But at 99 cents? And despite those plans for Tomatomania, why not start yet another variety from seed? If Marmande is from the South of France and has a very rich flavor, how can I resist Super Marmande? (I might not need Tomatomania after all! Or I might concede I need a second tomato bed, given that I probably already am pretty close to limiting myself to just  two plants apiece of five varieties. Though there is that stulpice heirloom I’d like. And what was that other one? Stay tuned. Last year I swore I would restrain myself and I still ended up with about 20 plants, some of which were volunteers that I couldn’t bear to kill. )

These were just the vegetables. It looks like the wackier flowers are gone (that may be a good thing), but there’s nicotiina, knautia, maybe my excuse for hollyhocks against the garage? After a few searches for information on some of these plants,  I’m guessing that this is the discount arm of Thompson-Morgan that sells the leftovers. But at 99 cents, I’ll take a risk on old seeds. They can’t be any older than the ones in my basement.

OK, OK. Maybe I should start planning what goes where first.  This is starting to feel like a kid whose eyes are bigger than his stomach.