Have you been keeping up with what to do each week to get your garden ready for spring? If so, you can sit back and wait on the seed catalogs to feast your eyes on. If, like me, you have so many things going on that your garden still hasn’t been put to bed, you still can work on it during the following months.

Have you been keeping up with what to do each week to get your garden ready for spring? If so, you can sit back and wait on the seed catalogs to feast your eyes on. If, like me, you have so many things going on that your garden still hasn’t been put to bed, you still can work on it during the following months.
We have leaves waiting to be shredded and put in the beds. The green manures crops are growing well, even after the freezes. Most of the beds are waiting to be cut to the ground and mulched. Something I hope to get to as soon as Open House at Carver Monument outside Diamond, and my youngest daughter’s and a grandson’s MSSU graduations are over. Busy. Busy. Busy.
I mentioned several weeks ago that I planned on eating as much as possible from what I’m growing to make a tiny dent on food relief after devastating floods and storms. I did go off for Thanksgiving as I had most of my family with me.
But, I’m back on tract. The cool weather crops are still growing well. In fact, the only thing growing in the tunnel house is the cool weather crops and wild edibles. I’ve been harvesting the wild edible stretching out the cultivated crops.
The carrots in the tunnel house should just be holding, but the temperatures have been warm enough for them, the beets, dill, Swiss chard, onions, and dandelions to keep on getting bigger. The carrots are a riot in themselves. In the very rocky soil, they tend to have many roots that are angled in all different directions; except straight down. I weighed one tonight. It had four large roots wrapped around one major root. At a whopping 16.2 ounces, I only needed one for creamy carrot soup.
The truth is, most of my carrots are not the picture-perfect carrots found in the supermarket. I have purple carrots with arms wrapped around yellow and white carrots. One of the beets got too close and an orange carrot formed a helix. One large yellow carrot looked more like a child’s chubby foot.
I worried about the rocks making the root crops look funny. Transplanting any of the roots after they are more than half-inch can cause twisted roots. Maybe I should just plant the seeds extra heavy (wasting seeds) and hope enough come up to make a row. But then, I wouldn’t be surprised by that foot long Cylindra beet, a beautiful yellow and cream Chioggia beet, or a super sweet snow white beet. The white beet becomes sweet after it’s roasted.
There isn’t anything close to fresh from the garden food. Imperfect produce taste just as good as the aesthetically perfect produce. Even Walmart has jumped on the bandwagon with its ‘ugly fruit’ sales. Start planning for next year’s garden now.
Don’t forget to take a detour for Holiday Open House at George Washington Carver park Saturday, the 9th  from 1-3 pm. Kids and adults can make different crafts to take home. While the bridge is being replaced, you must detour around it, but the fun is well worth it. Refreshments and  admission, as always, is free.    

Linda Simmons writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.