Our winter garden is finally giving us a small harvest. We planted last October, our first stab at winter vegetables, and then watched the seedlings do nothing. If they grew at all it was in fractions of inches. Most of them withered away or refused to reach out a root or leaf for sustenance.
We discovered that the winter sun is shaded by our house, so much that the backyard is in almost total shade all winter. How did we not notice this all these years?
This afternoon I've weeded a few beds in preparation for spring planting. The winter vegetables that survived an exceptionally cold winter are leaning their faces into the sun.
In the last few weeks we've had kale sautéed, chopped onto hearty winter salads, added to soups and scrambled with eggs. Delicate baby lettuce, carrots, and radishes make artful salads. I could learn to love broccoli, its flavor and texture so different from supermarket crowns.
We probably won't plant a true winter garden again, but might opt for an early spring planting in addition to the summer garden. It's been a good gardening lesson for us and I'm happy it's finally growing.