Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Win at Winter Gardening

I went to the Feed Store today. It's my retail therapy. Some women go to the mall, or the shoe store, or Sephora. I go to the old barn by the railroad tracks where they've sold feed- and roasted peanuts- for 100 years. My Dad started taking me there when I was nine. It's my happy place.

That, and the yarn shop. But that's another post entirely.

While doing a bit of online seed shopping recently, I came across a "new" type of broccoli and ordered the seeds. I'd hoped to start them today, but they aren't in yet, so I got impatient and went into town for some coffee and look-see at the Feed Store. Is it too early for broccoli sets? Wasn't sure.

I grow broccoli every spring. Trouble is, the springs here in Texas have been getting so warm so quickly that the broccoli, lettuce, kale, peas, onions... all those cool weather crops... burn to a crisp before we get them out of the ground. So we're all getting smart and adapting to our environment, I suppose you could say: this year, our winter gardens are enormous.

Which is a joke in itself. Winter? Texas?? Cue the belly laughs.

I lay awake last night thinking, if we're all going to garden in the winter now, why doesn't someone put out onion sets like they do in the spring? We have to think differently if we expect different results, after all. So after losing sleep last night over onion sets, I nearly shouted when I turned a corner and saw these tucked between an old shelf and the Feed Store's moaning side gate. Onion sets! For winter! We'll have onions, after all!

For just a moment, I was Laura Ingalls Wilder and onion sets were butter.

It's a good thing, too. The onion seeds I started are looking a little... floppy. And this winter, I desperately wanted a win...


Impera Magna said...

I love seed & feed stores... esp the ones with the old timey wooden bins that pull out so you can scoop up the exact amount of seeds you need into a little brown paper bag!


Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

I'm with you!
After reading online; that in Kaufman Co. ...somewhere not too distant from you, we have an average of about 254 growing days out of a year! Wow...blew my flip-flops off!!
I started wondering the same. Why don't they sell, potatoes and onions and corn for these times of the year.
Last year starting in the fall...I planted brussels sprouts and broccoli and cabbage and grew them all winter long! It was wonderful.

Have fun with it, Pat

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I'm so glad you are blogging again. :)

One of my dear friends lives in Corpus Christi and I live near Chicago.

We are both amazed at each other's growing seasons! Just when I am starting to plant each spring, her "first crop" (or would it be second crop?) is finished.

Although the drought this year left us with a pathetic garden. I will never take rain for granted again.

Betty said...

Happy you found what you were looking for, Brin..gardening and the outdoors are very good therapy! Wish we could grow more than one crop here..our season is just too short.
Autumn is here and the colors of the trees are gorgeous!