A Texas winter garden is an odd collection of delicate leafy greens and weather-hearty root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and beets. There’s also cabbages, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, who like the more delicate salad bowl greens, do not care for the heat, but are far more capable in the cold.
Maybe it’s the New Englander in me who grew up with turnips and the like, but I think of root vegetables as my kindred spirits in the garden. I tend to be drawn to those with not so obvious treasures.
It’s not hard to be radiant rainbow chard, prolific arugula, or tender lettuce showing off in the tamed, affectionate October sun. They remind me of youth and fade fast when faced with minor fluctuations in temperature.
The root vegetables are more like the later decades of life. They soak up the same soothing sun but with practical, more industrious looking leaves.
Their business is inward as tri-colored carrots drill deep into the soil; purple collared, moonlight white turnips nestle and grow round; and beets, with their earthy redness, lay waiting, painterly, to stain finger and lips.
The picture is of the garden I planted this weekend at Sunshine Community Gardens
Note: I haven’t written much over the last four months. Our summer was about integrating a long-awaited closure with many beginnings. My silence was a needed stillness to reboot and figure out our new operating system.