This latest foot of snow has buried my newly emerging bulb foliage. The two inches of daffodil, allium and crocus leaves are about a foot below the cold, white surface. Will my bulbs survive under that much snow? This is a familiar question I hear at the Home and Garden Education Center. I have enough faith and have seen many years of snow on the daffodils and other bulbs to know they will all be ok. The foliage may turn a little yellow but the flower buds are still protected deep inside the bulb itself. If it were much later in the season when the flower buds are exposed above the soil, these cold temperatures and a foot of snow would harm them. Light snow and temperatures just around 30 degrees F usually will not cause damage. Meanwhile, I will wait for spring, dream of the new gardening year and remember my last year’s garden. This is a good time to recall what worked and what didn’t in last year’s garden.

            I am eating reminders of last year garden when I flavor my homemade plain yogurt with raspberry jam made with Heritage raspberries from the back yard. I love this variety’s ever-bearing canes that can be pruned half way for a June crop or down to the ground for a late August crop. I also planted an unknown variety that produces berries on wood grown the previous year. These were darker, larger, less flavorful and seemed to rot on the cane as soon as they became ripe. I am not sure I want to waste the growing space keeping these.

 

             I will again plant plenty of basil for pesto making and freezing. We are just finishing the last of it now. I dried various herbs by hanging upside down bunches in the garage and tried my hand at drying them in the microwave. After one small fire in the microwave, I think I will stick to the slower hanging method! My tomato harvest was light and so was the canning of them. I really miss opening that glass jar filled with summer’s red goodness in January. Much more pickles were made than we actually eat, but the cucumbers produced a bumper crop. The garlic was also plentiful and I should cut back on the area devoted to this bulb. The stored potatoes and winter squash ran out far too soon resorting me to purchase these at a local farm stand that stays open until January.

 

            Even if you don’t grow your own produce, buy from a farmer’s market or local stand to try your hand at storing food for the winter. A good site to check out is the  National Center for Home Food Preservation.  Our own UConn Food and Nutrition folks provide information food storage.

Let the planning begin and hope the snow melts soon.

-Carol