First harvest of the year...

Somewhat improbably, we had our first harvest of the year today!

Last winter was unusually snowy, so the carrots we'd planned to dig in early winter were buried before we could get to them. Turns out they overwintered, as we dug up a good-sized pile today. About half weren't any good anymore and went to the worms or the compost pile, but this is what was left over. We also ended up with a bunch of leeks, though the rabbits got to them earlier this week, so David replanted the roots along with some dubious carrots, and we'll see what we get! This is definitely making me reconsider the viability of overwintering crops in Minnesota, or at the very least using row-covers and mulch and planning to harvest through December at least, particularly as we slacked off last fall and didn't mulch, cover, or otherwise protect anything at all.

It's very grey out, in that dingy early-spring kind of way -- very little color has come back to the landscape, and everything's still half-buried under last year's dried grass, rotted vegetable material, or faded mulch. But we were determined to get into the yard and get some work done today, and it turns out if you look close enough, spring is starting to show itself. The chives are coming up...

The currants are budding...

And one of the buckets in which I had snapdragons planted last year is full of life.

In fact, several of the planters have tiny little interesting things starting to come up.

All this was so inspiring to see that we spent about four hours working today and managed to get all three of our current 4' x 8' raised beds ready for planting. We didn't get any onion sets or peas in the ground today, but we have onions that self-seeded last year and are coming up by themselves, and we can start planting anytime this week.

This year we'll be tearing out at least 100 more square feet of grass in the backyard for a few more 4' x 8' beds, continuing to plant the strip of garden along the sidewalk that's probably about 2.5' x 60', planting something in the 10' x 10' patch behind the shed, and tearing out grass in the front yard so I can expand my herb garden! I am going to be so sore tomorrow from the work we did today, but it doesn't matter -- I'm just glad to be able to get started!

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