There’s a garden under that snow.

Pennsylvania has not seen the “mild” winter forecasters predicted for this year. The white layers outside include both ice and snow. I can now see every spot where the deer have trampled through the yard; their footpaths have been divulged.

My thoughts are turning to spring. I’m tired of eating frozen vegetables and shoveling equally frozen snow. I may be stuck inside for now, but while I’m here wishing away the cold, I’m going to plan an organic vegetable garden.

Lab tests show I need more Vitamin D. As a writer, I get very little exercise sitting behind my desk. I want to eat better, and if vegetables are at hand, I’ll reach for them. (Sadly the same is true for cookies and potato chips.) The more I learn about our tainted food supply, the more complicated it becomes to shop. (Is organic asparagus from Peru more or less toxic than non-organic asparagus from the U.S.?)

All this can be fixed with one thing: get outside and grow my own food.

Will the deer eat it first? Probably. Will the bunnies destroy the lettuce? Yes. Will the dirt get under my fingernails? Hopefully.

I’ve been participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs for the past few years, and I still think they are fantastic. They kept my house stocked with healthy food during the summer, and I’d much rather buy from – and support – my local farmer than some stranger in Peru. The CSAs are better at gardening than I, but when faced with the reality that I really need to get outside and away from this desk, it’s time to take the plunge and invest in the foundation for a real garden right out my backdoor.

Fence for the deer, a whole lot of compost for a raised beds (no more rock digging for me…my back can’t take it), and couple of seed orders, and I should be ready to start the project that friends have been encouraging me to plant for years. With just two months to prepare, spring will be here before I know it.

Want to join me? Care to share your thoughts on your own garden plans this year?