Crocuses are up and the days are perceptibly longer. Never mind that Monday night’s temps were in the 20s, or that a tray of lettuce seedlings I’d moved outdoors for some character building were no more. I scraped the defrosted material under and decided it was time to scout things out at the pea patch.

Happily, some crops do fend for themselves given a good start in fall. Kale and garlic had survived, naturally, but so had spinach, cabbages, and two rows of radishes that looked like they might actually be growing. Green mustard was the picture of health, enough to make a person wonder whether the plant had any natural enemies, excepting hungry gardeners, of course. The crops that had succumbed to the cold were broccoli, chard, and endive. On the balance, not too bad for four months of utter neglect.

I sprinkled some seeds in the ground, too, but caveat emptor — the water hasn’t been turned back on yet in the patch, so keep an eye on the weather as you plan your plantings.