AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Garden Updates - Last Day of Winter DATE: 3/20/2009 04:11:00 AM ----- BODY:
Spring officially starts tomorrow, and I will begin sowing seeds outside for my lettuces, peas and other spring delights. My portable greenhouse will protect my seedlings from a late season snow....... which sadly can happen into mid-April.

After a quick peek in the garden this morning, I discovered winter-tolerant Brussels sprouts. The stalks remained sturdy and in-tact through this brutal winter, though the leaves wilted. The outer leaves have a purple hue, the same shade that tomatillos develop when they are left on the vine to ripen and sweeten. Could these, too, be extra sweet? I only have enough for a small meal, so I'll want to maximize their preparation.

Under a pile of dead leaves and old mulch, tarragon and mint show signs of life. Mint has a reputation for being a hardy perennial, so while I'm happy to see it come back, I'm not surprised. With tarragon, on the other hand, I've been less successful, so I'm especially relieved to see it come back. The parsley nub has a few green leaves, so I'm wondering if that, too, will come back. I had thought it was an annual, but maybe not.

Less exciting is the state of my compost bin. At the end of the season last fall, I shoved most of my garden clipping into the bin. I had hoped that 6 months of the passive method (i.e. not turning the compost pile) would be enough. But, alas, I will need to work it rather vigorously over the next few months if I want to use my own compost to amend the soil of my summer garden.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Chiot's Run DATE:3/20/2009 08:12:00 AM That's fantastic. What kind of sprouts are they? I'm always looking for stuff to try & grow during the winter. My spinach did fantastic this year. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:3/20/2009 09:20:00 AM mmmm. look at those beautiful brussel sprouts! they're gorgeous :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Daniel DATE:3/20/2009 01:53:00 PM It's funny, I used to HATE brussels sprout as a kid. And I tried them a few years ago in my mid-thirties and realized they actually were pretty good! Funny how your tastes change as you get older. Looking forward to seeing how you prepare these guys.

Casual Kitchen ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:3/21/2009 12:15:00 AM I can't wait to see the bounty of your garden! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Daphne DATE:3/22/2009 10:29:00 AM Oh I love brussels sprouts and yours look wonderful.

The parsley is a biennial and will flower this year then die. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:3/22/2009 08:40:00 PM Chiot's Run -- I don't know what variety of brussels sprouts they were... I guess I just got lucky.

Heather -- thanks!

Dan -- Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm glad to know your taste buds have matured to enjoy these fine, fine morsels.

noble pig -- me TOO!

Daphne -- thanks for visiting my blog and for the tidbit about parsley. ----- --------