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I took a little stroll around the main garden and found some pleasant surprises (April 2, 2012).

Last fall I planted a  carrot variety that Territorial Seed says will overwinter and then germinate in the very early spring,  providing an early harvest. I am happy to say that some of those gems are up!

 Carrot seedlings from fall-planted seeds

Next, I discovered some parsnips. The are from last year’s planting. I believe they are the parsnips that I left in over the winter, and am delighted to find they are greening up. I will dig them in a few days to see if they are mature, or leftover seed that germinated a year later.

Greening parsnips…have to be overwintered ones.

The next photo shows second year onions. I gave this name to onions that are planted as sets during one spring but don’t come up until the following year. Each year I seem to have a few dozen of these.  I love my second year onions as they are extra early and extra strong tasting.

Fabulous “second year” onions

The next photo shows my first asparagus harvest! It’s small but mighty. Perhaps you noticed that I bit off most of the tops as I picked them. Fresh picked raw asparagus is the best. The stalks will go into an omelete!

Headless asparagus stalks  : )

Next, I discovered another wonderful trait of kale. Last fall, I left a few of the hardiest plants and covered them up with a frost blanket. When I pulled off the blanket last month only stalks remained. However, I decided to leave the stalks in the ground, hoping they would sprout. Indeed! They did sprout. The photos below show the poor stumps and their progress as of today.

Kale stumps under the frost blanket during the winter (center of photo)

Kale stump after removing frost blanket in March, 2012

Kale stump forming new growth

Another overwintered kale with leaves ready to pick

And finally, this photo shows the progress of my fall-planted garlic and the self-seeding walking onions.

Fall-planted garlic (back of photo), walking onions (tall center plants), and second year onions (left of walking onions)

Time to go cook that asparagus/cheese omelet! Tomorrow I will cook up something with kale, parsnips and second year onions. Should have some edible spinach as well.

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