The year’s first hard freeze brought deep snow and temps down into the teens, completely shutting Seattle down. In the garden it was an equally Darwinian scenario. Chard froze, then decayed. Fennel died back. Much to my surprise though most everything else did OK despite only thick snow for “protection”. Many survivors were greens: two varieties of winter lettuce plus arugula, red and green mustards, mache, endive, and of course, kale, which looks as vigorous as ever. The beets and leeks are alive, as are some of the hardy herbs like parsley. A big patch of volunteer chervil emerged unscathed, albeit with mellowed flavor.

One lesson of the recent freeze was to let snow be. Another lesson was that planting crops bred specifically for winter growing does work. Then again it’s only December, so we’ll see how everybody fares through a long, damp, cold winter.