They Tell Me Spring Will Come…


Seed collection
It's blizzarding today.  It's beautiful, but it's late winter.  I'm ready to stop shovelling snow and to start eating the mache in my garden that germinated last fall but is now hidden under snow. 

High Mowing Seeds, a Vermont-based seed company that is unusual in that it only sells organic seeds and grows much of its own seed, has offered its Garden Starter Organic Seed Collection as a giveaway.  I'm a customer there.  I buy some of my favorite things from High Mowing, including a tiny tomato called 'Matt's Wild Cherry.'

How to win?  Tell me what you are most looking forward to eating out of your garden in 2011 and why.  Best answer wins. We'll keep the contest open until 9 am Thursday, March 3.


  1. I am really looking forward to peas this season. My son’s favorite vegetable is peas (he’s 1 1/2) and it’s going to be so fun growing the peas with him, teaching him about gardening and then being able to eat our bounty together! Can’t wait for this snow to hurry up and go AWAY!

  2. I’m growing cucumbers this year, and I’m going to attempt to pickle them. So, depending how my pickling efforts turn out, I’m either really excited to eat some pickles, or to learn I can’t pickle and instead eat the cucumbers!

  3. I am looking forward to fresh, just picked, still damp with dew or warmed in the sunshine raspberries. I’m trying 5 canes in containers this year, and I CANNOT WAIT for them to get here. Just the texture of their seeds, the ease of picking them, and the feeling that I’m growing something exotic in my backyard is enough to set my head spinning. Please warm weather, return soon! I need my little bit of garden porn back….

  4. I can’t believe I have to write this but zucchini! Last year the striped cucumber beetle {my nemesis} killed them all before I had the chance to participate in leaving zucchini on my neighbor’s porches. Hoping for an abundance of them this year.

  5. Days with snow on the ground in Seattle make me crave August, when almost every dish I’ll make will have tomatoes or basil. I’ve finally gotten serious about growing tomatoes, and have built a little cold frame for an early start. I even carefully read the catalog descriptions this year, and ordered early producers and blight-resistant varieties to arrive in April. Now all I need is some sun!

  6. Dear Michele,
    You need a hoop house. You could have harvested mache today in the midst of the snow storm! I did.

    To paraphrase the comment you made about non-gardeners in your book, any serious northern gardener who hasn’t covered part of the garden to grow cold-hardy greens in winter is crazy!

    I’m going out to buy your book at an independent bookstore tomorrow. Please use the proceeds to buy Eliot Coleman’s 4 Season Harvest and get yo’self a hoop house!

    Your fan and Zone 4 winter gardening enthusiast.

  7. My spring greens! This year I am growing pansies for my spring salads. We enjoyed the edible flowers last summer , so we are trying pansies and johnny-jump ups for our spring salad. -roberta:-) no more snow here in the midwest would be nice so we can enjoy our early salads as soon as april!

  8. Nobody can see it yet, but me. I have worked from spring to summer last year removing blackberries and gravel from our yard, re-grading, and building retaining walls and raised beds. This is my first garden. What looks like a mud pit to everyone else is my green paradise waiting to happen. This year will be my first attempt at growing vegetables, and I am nervous and excited to see what happens. I would love to have something to help me get this started.

  9. I love sweet corn. Its such a short season crop regardless of the variety grown. Sure I can but it at one of the local farmers markets but there is nothing like coming home from work, setting the kettle on the stove and running down to the vegetable garden. I let the cats out so we can bond while I pick some corn. I clean the cobs in the garden and jog back up to the house to get those cooking. A bonus is fresh tomatoes to accompany that corn. You think Matt’s Wild Cherry is good, try Mexican Midget! I work at an artisan bread shop so I just need a fresh baguette to have a great repaste!

  10. Green beans!

    Have you ever tried Helda or Kwintus pole beans? Heaven on Earth!

    Helda and Kwintus grow tall and the flat podded beans hang down for easy picking. The beans never get stringy, no matter how long you neglect them on the vine. 30 plants and you will have beans coming out your ears in August.

    There is nothing, nothing! more delicious than fresh green beans steamed and eaten by the handful. No butter, oil, herbs, or any additives to distract from the luscious beany flavor. Summer is a fist full of beans to munch on for snack.

  11. Here in Montana I’m SO looking forward to eating Fortex and Maxibell green beans, lots and lots of varieties of tomatoes, broccoli, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, brussels sprouts, and winter squash – love, love LOVE my winter squash. Do I have to pick just one? These veggies and fruits grown by us are so much more nutritious for us than that boring store stuff – that’s my “why”. Who says you can’t grow a huge, wonderful garden in Montana???

    JustRSize Acres

    P.S. I love High Mowing seeds, too, and Matt’s Wild Cherry tomatoes are scrumptious…:-)

  12. Carrots and green peppers. Every year we add
    something my little ones don’t think they like. I have one who
    doesn’t eat carrots (but eats most green veggies), and another that
    is not fond of peppers. When we grow ’em, they usually eat ’em’.

  13. watermelon.
    Because my 4 year wants them and even though the ground is now covered in snow she is already talking about them. I can not wait to get them started for her. And me, who doesn’t love watermelon?

  14. Mulberries, which we make into a fine jam. We used the last of last year’s batch months ago and have been left to dream of summer. We only last year learned that the tree we’d been sharing our yard with produced edible berries, so we’re especially looking forward to this treat that to us still feels new.

  15. Rhubarb! Its been years since I have eaten it, and have been dreaming of it since I planted it in my garden last year. I’m soo excited to introduce it to my husband as well who has never eaten it before.

  16. Yummmmm… Sweet corn! Last summers joy was sweet corn. The chickens thought it was the best crop too. They would crowd all around my feet when I went to pick the plump ears of corn. They know I’m a soft touch and they would get their own ear to share. Who could resist a little friend standing on your foot looking up at you with such chicken hope in their eyes?

  17. Red Currant Tomatoes! I had them in my garden last year (gift from ‘Friends of the Garden’, State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens) and they were wonderful. A prolific producer with sweet fruits – just the right size to toss a handful in a salad, every day for months.

  18. I am looking forward to tasting my city-grown farmer’s market strawberries. Planted 2 small plants  last year and since then, they have have helped themselves to the rest of the flower bed. The patches of green hopped and snaked across my Louisiana irises and pink jasmine, thriving through a few freezes, so I can’t wait to see how many strawberries pop up from this takeover.

  19. I’m a strawberry guy, Michele. One-third of my “vegetable” garden is planted in strawberries. I wait every spring for those first warm sun-kissed strawberries. Been that way ever since at 5 years old, when my mother took me to a “pay or pick” strawberry patch. I picked a kid’s sandbucket full of strawberries, sat down, and started to eat. When my mother told me I needed to pick some more I simply told her “I’ve got all I need right now, maybe later.” And kept eating.

  20. As I stare glumly out my window at the no longer “pretty” falling snow…As I contemplate a long range forecast predicting a frozen wasteland well into March…and as I wipe the smudges caused by forlornly pressing my nose against the big window which overlooks my buried vegetable beds, I’m inclined to mutter “Any damned thing at all that comes up!”
    But when I’m less grumpy, less winter weary, I’d probably tell you that nothing elicits more pure excitement than the sight of those first, unabashedly phallic, asparagus spears standing proudly and proclaiming, “See? Spring has arrived again, so quit your whining and EAT us!”

  21. Cucumbers. Not only do I have very little competition over them in my household, not only do they make great snacks, but I’m also going to try infusing some gin with them, too.

  22. I’m looking forward to growing some ‘bribery’ tomatoes and basil this year.
    I have to rebuild my front yard fence and could use some fresh culinary bribes.
    I wish I could grow vintage English car parts, because they would be the best form of bribery for my MG obsessed partner, but a fresh grilled BLT sandwich with basil would handily come in second.

  23. Tomatoes, cherry or large slicing, it doesn’t matter to me, I love them for salads, right off the vine, or for dehydrating for that great fresh taste in the midst of winter. Plopping a few dehydrated tomatoes into a stew and enjoying that delicious fresh taste after being to the store always seems to make my pocket book grow!

  24. Raspberries.
    I am an avid fan of raspberries as finger toppers, and am adamant about teaching my friends the soothing qualities of popping raspberries off of your fingertips.
    So it came of little surprise a few years ago, when a friend called to tell me that she and her boyfriend were eating raspberries off each other’s fingers. Of course! That’s the only way to eat them when your loved one is nearby.
    That is, until the moment came for him to reapply the raspberries on her left hand, and he instead slipped on a perfect little engagement ring.
    Five years and two kids later, and they’re still the cutest couple I’ve ever met. The first raspberry fingertips of the summer always remind me of that story.

  25. I’m looking forward to beets! I was surprised last year at how much my family loved eating fresh garden beets, so this year I’m going to try and grow enough to can some, too.

  26. Tomatoes. Nothing tastes like a warm-from-the-garden heirloom tomato, grown in my compost-rich Jersey garden. Every other vegetable tastes at least similar to the summer, home-grown variety…except tomatoes. Those reddish things sold in grocery stores in winter aren’t remotely like my tomatoes. And even though by late September, I am getting sick of them (or just tired of peeling, de-seeding, cooking and freezing them in every possible way), I can’t wait until July when maybe the first early tomatoes will be ready for picking.

  27. I’m a pretty hard core gardener. Edibles cover most of my acre and a half yard and there’s even a hoophouse full of citrus and guava trees. I’m in zone 7b which most of the time acts like zone 8 so I can nibble homegrown stuff almost any day of the year but there are two things I dream about once the snowing and freezing weather goes away. First I cannot wait for the first bite of a tomato bacon sandwich made with Mortgage Lifter or German Johnson tomatoes. Plenty of other t’maters will get eaten before the MoLifter’s get ripe but I can overlook them, they won’t even make it to the backdoor! Toasted homemade bread with Peppercorn Ranch Dressing, warm bacon and thick slabs of Mortgage Lifter. They’re kinda pink red with a mushiness that only works well in a sandwich but such intense flavor – good god almighty!

    Second it will be the first fully ripe peach. Babied and coddled since spring, picked a little early so that none of the wild creatures get to damage it first. Arranged like little round soldiers on the counter, pointy ends up, all nice and neat on a thick layer of newspaper. It takes a week or so for them to completely ripen. You’ll know the day has come when the house smells like peaches and the fruit is just soft. You don’t bother to wash it or peel it, you just stand over the sink and try to keep all the juice from running down your chin or arms. There is nothing better.

  28. Isn’t this like asking which of your children you’re most looking forward to seeing after they’ve been away at summer camp for 6 weeks?

    I’m most looking forward to eating … the food. Why? Because it tastes better than the bugs and the dirt.

  29. French breakfast radishes.
    Am so looking forward to making radish butter to spread on some homemade rolls.
    And eat them on my deck while listening to the red wing blackbirds.

  30. I’m looking forward to tasting the difference in the five varieties of garlic I planted last fall. Ordered from the Garlic Farm in B.C., I planted Sicilian Gold, Kabar, Italian Porcelain, Polish Jen and Ukrainian Mavniv. It’ll be like a trip through Europe via garlic!

  31. BAH! You want me to be smart and cute and creative, and we’ve gotten 18″ of fresh snow in the past 2 days, and I can’t even see out the kitchen window because it is fully blocked by snow. Bah!

    I need fresh peas.


    Fresh anything, really.

  32. cucumbers crsip and delicious, no, peas, becasue they grow so well here with our cool long spring, no, green beans because they taste so good raw right off the vines , nice little snack or maybe yellow squashes and zucs, they tast and look wonderful together and they LOOK like summer. Or SWEET CORN – oh my – it is impossible to choose

  33. I will make no apology to the urologist when it is time to provide him with a sample that Spring has sprung in my garden! My most awaited veg is the Asparagus that I set out two seasons ago. I have been very patient and let them go to fern last year despite the delicious temptation.

  34. I am all about my tomatoes. And, I guess so is my grandson as last summer he took one bite out of many on one vine when I wasn’t looking. This summer I will plant him his own section of grape tomatoes to bite on all he wants!

  35. Boo on snow! I’m looking forward to so many things this year, but the most is okra. My good friend saved some seeds from last year, and it’s been a few ears since I’ve had homegrown okra!

  36. Michelle-
    What you are asking me to do is like choosing which child is my favorite. Do I choose the extroverted Italian basil that will feed 30 people on a moments notice?(Which I did last summer along with grilled chicken and local corn), or the introverted new potatoes, hidden in the ground until I tease them out? They don’t shine until I add a little olive oil, sea salt and herbs from the garden. What about that sweet child chiogga beets? Easily maneuvered out of the ground, cleaned up, trimmed and sweetly roasted on the grill-then mixed with pan toasted walnuts, dill from the garden and Liza Porter’s goat cheese feta(and of course a little good olive oil and vinegar and local garlic). This child makes my day easy as I return from work, offering to do most of the work for dinner. What about those spicy, interesting, intelligent easy-going children that grace my salad? Arugula, mustard, cilantro, baby chard and other greens. They are the ones that “play well with others”, but are a treat on their own. How do I choose? I guess I would have to say whichever vegetable is ready for the taking after a long day of work. If I really have to choose, I would say the tomatoes that go with anything. Mostly I like them with volunteer cilantro from my gardens and fresh mozzarella from the local Italian Import store-and of course Olive Oil and white balsamic vinegar. After another 4 inches of snow last night(after the 16 inch snowfall Friday), I am longing for anything that comes from the garden!

  37. First off, thanks for this post! High Mowing carried the organic cover crop oats that I was having a hard time finding.

    I am most looking forward to eating the first ripe tomato from my garden. It doesn’t matter what variety it is, just whatever one ripens first. My garden has turned me into a homegrown tomato snob; I can barely stand to eat those red plastic orbs that are passed off as tomatoes in the grocery store. This year, I will have a new strategy so that the chickens don’t get the tomatoes before I do!

  38. Mustard greens. I pick some every day to include with my lunch. I even got the kids to try them last year, but I don’t think that will happen again. Great expressions on their faces, though!

  39. We’ve been expanding our garden over the last couple years. last year things grew, but not great. ammended soil last fall, and will some more this spring. looking forward to growing a lot of things: tomatoes, carrots, squash, cukes, potatos, strawberries, blueberries, and more! my veggie garden is also connected and will be intertwined with my flower (one of) garden. Really excited for my boys to watch and help it grow, and to eat right out of the garden!

  40. I cant wait to plant snow peas and potatoes this year because they are my childrens favorite. They usually fight over the first peas and run down the street to show there friends. By the end of summer I will have most of the neighborhood kids in my back yard helping me pick and tryin new veggys the kohlrabi was a huge hit. For weeks they will be asking about the annual potatoes digging race with 2 teams and who can get to the end of the row first wins. My garden is kid friendly and I teach them all summer long about growing our food…They love it!

  41. I have a two year old who will be stealing my tomatoes as soon as they look good enough to eat! I’m going to be trying Celeriac this year though so I’m looking forward to that.

  42. I am really looking forward to eating another new vegetable this year. For the last several years I have made it a point to try something new. I have been gardening for 20 + years and enjoy the heirloom favorites and usuals but I just love this trend of trying something new and different. Last year it was delicata squash the year before garlic and the year before that sun gold tomatoes. Only problem is I enjoy each new thing enough to plant it again so my garden is getting larger every year!
    Hummm…what will it be this year? Maybe Golden Midget Watermelon, yum.

  43. Definitely tomatoes – partly because they’re about the only thing I can grow reliably. But also because they are SO much better than store-boughten. I’m amazed that they are not what everyone’s looking forward to the most.

  44. I am so looking forward to some fresh yellow plum tomatoes. I had a very late start planting them last year, and between the stink bug menace and a storm that took down several plants, I didn’t have nearly my fill before frost.

  45. it’s not so much what i’m looking forward to eating, it’s what i’m looking forward to my baby eating. faith will be one year old march 2nd and has yet to eat anything unorganic. she eats earth’s best organic formula and food and lotsa raw fruits and vegetables. she just discovered tomatoes and cucumbers and i’m looking forward to going into the garden, picking cherry tomatoes, and eating them right there with her. just like i did last season with my 6 year old son jared.

  46. When my dad was visiting my grandmother back in the fall, he noticed upside down, tucked away in the corner of the old coal room a 20 gallon cast iron pot. He recalled a discussion he had with me about my desire to have one so I could cook outside over a fire. He got permission from my grandmother to get it for me only to find out when he flipped it over that the last time it was used decades ago was to melt tar for roofing.

    I got it before Christmas and spent much of Christmas day with a chisel and hammer knocking out the large chunks of tar. A week later I was able to start a roaring fire and burn out the remainder of the tar leaving it a beautiful rust red color and thinning down the handle and interior to its original mold.

    In the near future I will start a small fire and coat the cast iron pot in lard and reheat it in order to season the metal making it ready for the summer.

    Why do all of this? Because I’m excited to grow popping corn for the first time, 2-inch strawberry popcorn from seed savers. I have the ultimate goal of having a fall festival at our home where all of our friends who have young children can watch kettle corn be popped over a fire, scooped out fresh and served hot. It might be a year in planning, but hopefully it will be worth it!

  47. I am looking forward to peas from my garden. I like to stand in the garden and eat them. I also like to sprinkle them over my salads. Also I just love their beautiful flowers!

  48. Radishes and organic butter on warmed whole wheat buns.I’m looking at a 4 foot high snow drift covering my garden so it’ll be awhile!

  49. Even though the snow is deep–and more on the way–it is mere weeks until I can go out and harvest sorrell and chives for scrambled eggs. I love how early in the season they are available!

  50. Swiss chard. Which must mean I’m a grownup now. Ten years ago my answer would have been berries and more berries. But lately, I’m craving greens.

  51. I’m looking forward to eating snap peas, with my daugther (4 1/2) and son (19 months). I have a hard time getting her to eat vegetables, however when it’s fresh picked from the garden, by her, there is no problem. I can’t blame her. I also look forward to trying ‘Blues chinese caggage’. Happy March!

  52. Well, this will be my first garden ever so I am looking forward to indulging in anything that comes out of it but most of all I am really really looking forward to eating fresh green beans!! There is nothing like them. And I can’t wait to try my hand at canning this year. When I can’t enjoy fresh beans, I can at least enjoy the bounty of (hopefully!) my harvest. 🙂

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