The hungry months

The snow is off the ground and the bulbs in my south-facing city garden are popping their lovely foolish heads above the leaf cover. (Foolish because like the rest of us they are bound to be shocked by another frost or snowfall or at least a very cold snap—simply par for the course in this part of the world.) People are flooding onto the streets with that same crazy optimism, and I’m sure we’ll see shorts and sandals on a few hardy souls this weekend.

It’s also the time of year when gardeners start to get antsy, yearning to get their hands in the dirt, while everyone else yearns for the first spring veggies—respite from a winter of root vegetables, cold storage apples and tasteless fruit that’s travelled farther than most of us ever will.

According to a piece in The Telegraph, farmers traditionally call this time of year The Hungry Months. (The Danes know how to do the season up right. At Copenhagen’s Noma, the best restaurant in the world, celeriac, pickled root vegetables and beets are all on the menu.)

Community plans for reviving the garden at my kids’ school with a new vegetable patch are keeping me feeling hopeful, and so is the idea of cultivating some seeds in the kitchen window for our own garden.

Foolish or not, it’s easy to welcome spring.

[photos by Andrea Curtis]

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