The Early Winter Garden

Author Photo
By Erin Sheehan

There’s something special about eating fresh food from the garden even as winter has crept into our area. We had our first real snow almost a month ago now, but some of our hardier crops have only just recently given up the ghost. I picked fresh kale last Sunday – December 7! Although it was probably the last picking from the plant, it was so exciting to make an entry in our gardening journal for December! That month’s page is usually totally blank.

We think we may still have collard greens, but right now they are buried under about 10 inches of snow. I haven’t been out to brush them off and see how they are doing under there, but I’m pretty curious. We’ll try to harvest a few this weekend. We’ve heard they do pretty well even in cold temperatures. The kale, meanwhile, still appears to be alive, but there’s not enough growth really to harvest anymore.

We still have carrots, winter squash and garlic in storage. Although we picked them a while back, I still consider them “fresh” as we haven’t frozen or processed them yet.

My grandfather always used to say, “Snow is the poor man’s fertilizer.” So every year we hope for lots and lots of snow to help out our garden come spring. Looking out at the garden now it’s hard to believe that spring will ever come, but we have to believe that it will.

I hope your gardens are all getting lots of free fertilizer these days as well, readers! Happy winter!

Published on Dec 12, 2014