Those garden companies know. They know gardeners are starting to look out at their snowy yards and see something that isn’t there. They know that gardeners who cook are waiting for that little stubs of rhubarb or asparagus to peek out of the cold ground, for the rush of chives to suddenly appear as though winter had never happened. Somehow they even know that in a brief January thaw this gardening cook had oregano start to grow (yes, outside) and that it made my whole day. They also know that even in places like Wisconsin where the weather never bothers to look at the calendar, gardeners are looking and seeing that the vernal equinox is right around the corner. So they send those garden catalogs out so that some arrive even before Christmas because they also know that when the shortest month seems too long, those gardeners will start planning and shopping.
This will be a very different year for me in the garden. I will be experimenting with straw bale gardening, making notes on where and how much sun each part of the yard gets, and making maps of possible future garden layouts. I already know my cold frame needs to be in a place with more light, and I’m considering a raised bed of strawberries. Since this is mostly a planning and starting-to-remodel-the-yard year, I am looking forward also to the start of my local farmer’s market (less than 2 months) buying much of our veggies this summer and getting back to canning some salsa. Stay tuned as I work toward a new and improved backyard! What are your plans this year: garden, CSA, market??