It's almost 40 degrees Farenheit here in Northern Indiana right now, and I actually just ran outside in short sleeves with no coat! Just for a moment though, it isn't THAT warm yet. But I think it's funny what our bodies do to adjust to fluctuating temperatures. In September, 40 degrees is downright frigid, but in February, after 2 full weeks of single digits and negative temps, 40 degrees is practically a heat wave!
I talk a lot about the Territorial Seed Company, which was brought to my attention when I started reading a book by Steve Solomon, founder of Territorial Seed, titled Gardening When It Counts. I requested a catalogue from them last year, but I wasn't prepared to purchase anything yet. This year I am. And with the recent success of my etsy shop, all those sold baby shoes are going to help finance this year's garden, which I am expecting to be a showstopper.
To begin with, I heard on the news yesterday that there is a drought in China's wheat belt, and a cold snap in Mexico that is ruining imported produce. Corn prices are at an all time high, and food prices are expected to triple all across the USA. It will be easier for those of us in the Midwest because we're very close to our food sources, but for those in the city, things could get downright tough. By the way, you can thank good ol' President Nixon for our corn woes. It was at his behest that things like corn-based preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup were put into almost every single food item in the grocery store shelves! It helped people be able to keep their food longer, but it also introduced a dependency on corn that is unsustainable, and has been a chronic suspect in the creation of things like learning disabilities, food allergies and immune system disorders! BUT, you can also thank other presidents for pushing E-85 ethanol fuel production - because that's going to cause an even greater strain on the production of corn products in our country. But I digress...
Anyway, I can see the earliest of golden light coming through the glass in the back door, and the depth of the snow is down to left than 12 inches. We've even got grass poking up here and there! And in between trips to the post office, episodes of 'An Idiot Abroad' and cups of tea, I am going to place the first seed order from Territorial Seed Co. I am quite anxious for fresh produce after the winter's menu of hearty stews and protein-laden dishes. I'm ready for fresh greens, fruit pies, and grilled veggies.
So if you're plotting out your garden in Zones 4-6 right now, remember that March is the time to plant cabbages, peas, lettuces, brussels sprouts, beets, broccoli, onions and potatoes! Some are quick to grow (lettuces) and some take a looooooooong time (cabbages and onions), but they will be so worth it when they are smiling out from their beds at you in April, ready to be picked and prepared!
This year, I'm going to be very adventurous with the preserving and canning, so I'm warning you ahead of time - there will probably be sauerkraut, every manner of frozen and canned oddity and jellies and jams made from the strangest of fruit combinations. Be ready!