Thinking Spring – While Cooking Split Pea and Ham Soup

I just finished ordering more than ten seeds varieties for my community garden and yard containers. I cribbed heavily from an article on growers from around the country in the NY Times a few weeks ago and took some advice about hearty tomato varieties and good web sites for seeds. In the end, however, I bought from two sites: seedsofchange.com (whom I had already purchased from once) and rareseeds.com. Every year I learn a bit more about timing and what might actually work given my location (zone and literally what the soil and sun situation is). I expect to have the following growing in my garden a few short months from now:

dinosaur kale (I like this variety so much better than the curly kale I’ve been planting), beets, red onions, lovage (a celery tasting herb – see a previous post), eggplant, purple pole beans, lettuce mix, three kinds of tomatoes, rainbow chard and fennel. I’ll have some herbs that winter (sage, rosemary and lavender, hopefully), and others that re-sow (dill and maybe the parsley) and I might get bold and try peppers again. Sigh. This all gets me thinking spring. I can’t wait!

Meanwhile, I threw a ham hock (Chestnut Farms), 1 pound of dried split peas (Baer Farms, purchased at Sherman’s Market), and 2 slice onions (Red Fire Farms) and covered with a mixture of water and the last cup of some wine locally made by my dad in Upstate NY, and turned the slow cooker on high. In another hour (4 hours total) I’ll be eating my local winter stew, dreaming of my spring garden.

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