Yesterday’s visit could be summarized as follows: rain, hail, snow, sleet.

Nevertheless there were signs that the season is turning. The kale and collards were bunched with flowering stalks, signaling the end of winter greens. There were bags of nettles, tight fiddleheads, an arugula crop that was nearly sold out when I arrived mid-morning. No sightings of asparagus or spinach, though.

I wandered around contemplating the coming week, a busy one, and bought a fistful of tulips from a lovely Hmong woman. Ultimately my pickings included a chicken, some dried porcini, and the day’s last eggs from Growing Things. Sadly I ran out of cash before I saw the hazelnut folks, who grow their crop near the Canadian border.

On my way out I checked in with the King County Master Gardeners, who were huddled under an umbrella, dispensing earthly wisdom. The Gardeners advised a homemade cloche built from vapor barrier fabric available at the hardware store, to protect my broccoli and chard seedlings from the cold. I chatted a little more then mentioned my gnawed favas and the neighborhood rat; they hemmed and hawed and eventually suggested wire fencing, with the wire sunk just below ground level.

Not bad for a day’s take.