While most of the garden is still covered in a veil of drab brown a few things have started to put forth new and most welcomed green growth. The chives have awoken from a long winter's nap and are now poking up through the remnants of their past, straining upwards as the afternoon sun beats down upon them. It has taken us a few years but we finally have enough of these tasty little alliums growing in various plots that they are for more than just looking at but eating as well.
French sorrel is popping up everywhere. It has the same tang as wild sorrel but the leaves get much larger. This is one of the grandson's favorite greens, I caught him sitting in a patch sharing it with the puppy the other day and had to pull him away before he turned green from eating too much of it.
Parsley, ever faithful to us, has managed the winter quite well and is now springing forth with vibrant new growth. It is so much more than just a garnish to us and one of the few foods that seems to be part of almost every single meal that we partake in.
Chicory with all of it's brilliantly colored florets has also held steadfast all year around. It has always been a treat that we are forced to share with the voles who love to pull it into their subterranean tunnels and have a little winter feast of their own. This year, however, they never showed up for the party.
Spinach that was planted late last fall is slowly but surely starting to put out a bit of new growth under our row covers. I planted some more yesterday in another row to follow this crop. Not much though as come June it will all bolt to seed anyway.
The source of nutrition we depend on the most during the winter months is kale and along with parsley and turnip greens makes up the majority of the numerous salad ingredients we attempt to grow outside 365 days each year. We froze many gallons of fresh kale last spring before the aphids showed up and have been enjoying it all winter in soups, potato salads, and it even makes a great pizza topping. I just planted a whole covered row of it for an early June harvest as the over wintered kale will quickly bolt to seed once the weather warms. I even started a small flat of it in the greenhouse just to test the germination on some of my older seed.
For a few recipes on what to do with all that kale check out this great blog I ran across today -365 Days of Kale.