Winter Thorns

Today brought the fifty-seventh snowstorm of the winter; another three or so inches brought the depth in the yard to about two feet or so, making my shortcut into town a vigorously aerobic trudge. That path takes me by the garden, where I took this picture. It has a suitably prison-y vibe to it, given how confining this climate gets around this time of year, especially when it keeps snowing so there’s no trace of bare ground or greenery anywhere. It turned out that my decision to skip any winter gardening under cover was prescient; all this snow would have crushed the hoops and merely opening the gate would have required a ton of shoveling.

But sap season has begun, and the sun climbs noticeably higher in the sky (on those few days when it comes out) so soon enough the snow will inevitably retreat. When it does, I am going to crawl around on all fours eating all the wild chives, ground ivy, garlic mustard, and nettles I can find, and I’m going to comb the garden for the first new sprouts of volunteer cilantro and returning chicories. There are plenty of vegetables in the stores, of course, this being the land of plenty and all, but they all come from California and I’m sick of buying them. They taste like shit compared to homegrown produce, and after this year I don’t think it’s sound planning to expect those crops to be as available in the future. This may be the year I build a greenhouse.

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  1. February 19

    I was just washing dishes and got caught up in a gardening reverie. It was so lovely! Meanwhile, the walk to the compost pile is arduous. The garden is completely under about four feet of snow (it’s near the road.) And spring break is now down to two days. But yes, it will be here soon enough!

    • Peter
      February 27

      People keep saying that.

  2. February 20

    You’re right – the stuff you get from CA is tasteless – I remember from when I lived in NYS. A greenhouse is a good idea, if only to keep you from getting cabin fever around this time of year.

    • Peter
      February 27

      One with a hot tub in it.

  3. February 20

    Well you know what I will have to say about that. We’ve got 3.5 feet of snow on the ground here and yep I still have greens (and carrots and parsnips and beets, rutabagas and turnips and green onions) to eat thanks to my plastic bubble palaces.

    • Peter
      February 27

      Those aren’t going to work here. If I’m doing it, I have to build a permanent one.

  4. Carla B.
    February 25

    …”after this year I don’t expect those crops to be as available in the future”..? You refer, no doubt, to the California droughts? The big chains will just turn more to Mexico, or Chile, for their produce, I guess?

    • Peter
      February 27

      They will, but that’s even farther away.

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