Let me start by saying, please forgive me for my incredibly long absence. I could rack up the reasons (new jobs—two of them; sickness—we're all fine now; a delightfully warm and sunny spring—we skied in shorts and t-shirts on Easter, for crying out loud!). But I won't. Suffice it to say, I've been busy. And yet I've missed sharing the ongoing adventure with you all. I am back.
As the snow melted early here and the earth began to green up, I couldn't help but notice something shocking in the garden. The established rows of arugula—I planted Fedco's Sylvetta for the first time last spring—were busy growing just where I'd left them late last fall. I figured they'd re-seed; I'd heard they did so freely. I let them flower, and I collected their seeds at the end of the season. I couldn't help myself. This was the most wonderful arugula I'd ever eaten. Nutty, almost creamy, and delectably pungent, it actually beckoned me to the garden.
I'd even heard it would last well into the winter—with protection. That's why I was so surprised to see this crop crop up all on its own. It was just where I'd planted it last spring, established plants and many little green seedlings (from the re-seeding, I suppose). Of course, I didn't "protect" these greens with row covers or low hoops. I didn't even mulch them. I let them be and waited to see what would happen. Turns out, my Zone 5 location was protected enough to overwinter them without any effort at all. What a pleasant surprise to awaken to a beloved vegetable, ready to grow and eat within a few weeks of the snow's melt.
I can relate: I've felt a bit buried this winter. But deep roots and well-tended soil—feeling grounded, I realize now—makes all the difference. I can emerge from a long, winter's nap, ready to stretch up to the warm spring sunshine.