Say it together: We're sick and tired of winter and we can't take it any more! It's not so much the cold but the absence of green that saps our souls when it's March and we yearn for hints of spring -- the season that eludes Colorado with a vengeance. But relief is in sight. Seed catalogs crowd the average mailbox, and if they don't, they're a quick phone call or an e-mail away. Dreams of a summer vegetable and herb garden will color the soul of even the most seriously color-deprived.
No, you can't put seed in the ground until May 15, the date of the last frost. But you can start seedlings indoors and you can plan. Will this be the year you go organic? Perhaps you'll learn why heirloom vegetables are beloved by top chefs and gardeners alike. Maybe you'll grow your own.
Not a gardener, you say? No space to grow a vegetable or herb garden? Let's talk about how to grow your own veggies in a pot or any kind of container with drainage and good soil. The incomparable taste and the splash of color will make it worth your while.
Just repeat this list and think color: Acorn squash. Arugula. Asparagus. Beans. Beets. Cabbage. Carrots. Chard. Cucumber. Eggplant. Escarole. Fennel. Garlic. Greens. Herbs. Kale. Leeks. Lettuce. Onion. Parsnip. Pepper. Potato. Pumpkin. Radicchio. Radish. Snap peas. Sorrel. Spinach. Summer squash. Tomatoes. Turnips. Wax beans. Zucchini. An infinite range of color. A palette of flavors.
As you scan the Independent's spring Menu Guide for places to eat out, start imagining the sensory pleasure of growing your own vegetables this summer. And don't forget to urge your local restaurateur to buy locally grown vegetables when possible.
-- Kathryn Eastburn