A couple of warm days, after weeks of snow and way-below freezing temps, and the snow has melted. Of course, seasonal temperatures are forecast to return later today, but in the meantime I got the chance to check on the garden.
No sign of the fall-planted garlic or shallots yet. But, looking closely, I find the spinach and arugula have germinated. Broadcast last fall, watered in by the melting snow, there won't be much growth to be seen just yet. But they can take the freezing weather yet to come, and their roots will start reaching down deep. Then, as the days get longer and warmer, they'll have a good foundation to start putting on top growth. I've found sowing in fall the best way to get a good harvest from these two quick-to-bolt greens. And that harvest comes when I really start craving something green and fresh; when I'm getting tired of stored cabbages and roots.
The leeks too, are perking up and starting to fill out. Young plants divided and set out last summer sent up seed stalks. I broke the seed stalks off, and left the plants in place in the fall. Now, with the snow melt, they've started growing again. I'll leave them to bulk up for the next couple of months, harvesting them for fresh use usually in March and earliest April. Dormant season gardening is soooo easy.
I like experimenting with storing food too. Right now we're snacking on fresh chocolate zucchini bread. I made a three-loaf batch yesterday from a monster zucchini stored in the cellar. The skin was a bit tough, so I skimmed that off with the veggie peeler, and scooped out most of the seeds with a spoon. One-third of the zuke we had as a dinner vegetable, sauteed in olive oil with onions and garlic; the rest shredded for the bread recipe. And there's still one more left in the cellar, looking good.