What a weird growing year, and it hasn’t even really started. In 2004 we left for Europe mid-March, and I’d already fully worked and seeded my then-south-facing-bed. We are experiencing its antithesis – below average temps and scads of the record-breaking snow still everywhere. Were it not for my cold frames, I’m not sure how far out direct seeding would be yet.
Rural gardens and farms are still under feet of snow. They will be for weeks. One of the many advantages of urban agriculture: ease of season stretching w/out energy consumptive greenhouse operations. One thing I’m still left confused about is why we don’t do this more…extend our gardening seasons at home. Why is this not part of our northerly habit and food culture? Seems extensive efforts to grow HUGE vegetables are made, and some folks try HARD to grow fruits and veg that simply aren’t meant for our growing zone. Perhaps I’m just that geek who doesn’t value size, or scarcity, but instead values fresh, tasty, in-season, local food – for as much of the year as possible?
I feel fortunate that I can rely on the brilliance of others [thanks, Elliot Coleman…and the Dutch], to avoid my having to discover how to extend the season. It’s been done. So I’m gonna too.
Top left: cultivars Coleman recommends for shoulder season Below: seedlings started March 10th, looking healthy, happy, and to be transplanted into cold frame soil in the coming week or two. Bottom: seeded soil – really, really early.