The Season of Resilience and Return

We're approaching mid-February, and the season of seed-starting is upon us. We've loaded up on potting soil for making our soil blocks and starting seeds (thanks to McEnroe Organic Farm in Millerton), and we've taken advantage of the recent spell of clear days and remarkably bare ground to do some pre-spring cleaning around the property. Dump runs have been made (we're embarrassed to say that months-old refuse from the autumn construction of the office was among the recently tossed debris), laundry has been air-dried outside (how does it still smell so fresh in the middle of winter?), and the greenhouse has been re-visited (though not yet cleaned--this week!). In short: we're in full-fledged spring anticipation mode. Soon this will give way to frenetic non-stop whirling work mode, but for now we're still chomping at the bit.

Little lost ground cherry (with dog hair). Little lost ground cherry (with dog hair). Dish by Mary Beth Wehrung.

We've discovered two terrific instances of vegetable resilience in our clean-up. One is in our greenhouse: a tray of tatsoi seedlings still waiting to be transplanted, happily enduring the heavy cold of winter, still perky and green and happy--sitting in a wooden tray atop the soil. We'll toss them in the ground this week and, with any luck, be eating some decent tatsoi in three or four weeks (crossing our fingers that they don't bolt early). Our other discovery was in a corner of our kitchen: a dust-covered bright orange ground cherry that's been nestling against the baseboard beneath our kitchen counter for the past five months. We took a bite: still delicious! Amazing.

Find any resilient veggies in your environs this late winter? Share in the comments!

3 thoughts on “The Season of Resilience and Return”

  • adrianne p

    Ha Ha the little lost ground cherry (with dog hair)!
    After searching for 2 weeks the cold rooms of my house for the bucket of parsnips I dug from the garden, I walked out to the garden during last week's thaw and realized I hadn't dug them after all. There they were, green tops and all, frozen into the ground. It will be a few months yet until the ground releases them!

  • Meghan

    Hi Guys,
    Can you tell us a good timeline for seed starting? I'm sure it varies by veggie, but what's the latest date to get going?


    • doug

      Yes! We're actually about to publish a Seed-Starting 101 series of blog posts that will start with planning and scheduling and lead into basic techniques applicable to most varieties. Should be up within a few days. But for now, worry not! The earliest any of our varieties should be started under protection is early March. Stay tuned!


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