There are a lot of great things about Winter; the holidays, family time, good food, hot chocolate by the fire and so much more. There is also a lot I don’t love so much about Winter, like the fact that it’s cold all the time, and muddy, my chickens don’t lay as often and I’m not harvesting anything from my garden, but it still requires maintenance.
Even though I’ve lived in the Pacific North West my entire life, and I love it here, I even enjoy the rain occasionally but I’m not much of a fan of gardening in it, or in freezing cold temperatures. So unfortunately when Fall hits my garden ends up neglected for much of the Winter. It’s not that I don’t have good intentions, but between the weather, the upcoming holidays and my ever mounting pile of DIY house projects it’s easy to let the garden fall by the wayside.
Mid-Winter is when I usually realize that even though I’ve forgotten about the leftover tomato plants I never got around to composting, the carrots still in the ground and the fall weeds I never pulled, they haven’t forgotten about me. I’ll usually get out in the garden a few times, but it’s never enough and around January I start to panic because I haven’t prepped anything for this year’s garden.
Lucky for me carrots don’t seem to have an expiration date it the ground and even in January, way past their harvest date I was able to gather about six pounds of them from my vegetable garden. Okay, it’s not entirely true they don’t have an expiration date, several of the smaller carrots were a little mushy, and the exposed tops of some of the carrots were a mushy from the frost as well. So I fed all the mushy parts to my chickens, and made carrot soup out of the rest.
I was actually impressed at what I was able to salvage from my forgotten carrots. Six pounds, and I only fed a handful of less than stellar carrots to the chickens. With six pounds of carrots I was able to make a triple batch or our favorite Curry Carrot Soup, so we have a ton of it in the freezer which is great for nights I don’t feel like cooking.
Although I did get some weeding done in both the front and back gardens there’s plenty left for me to do before I can start Spring plantings. The excitement of the coming season and getting my garden back in production mode has definitely given me motivation to start planning what I’ll be growing this year and get back outside even in the cold.
Are any of you in prep mode for your garden this year? What are you planning to grow?