No down time except what we create

I’m no fan of the 24-7, always-available lifestyle that we seem to be evolving toward more and more as a society, but I am a fan of Pacific NW gardening, where there are really no corners of the year in which to hide and declare, “I cannot do anything in the garden.”  Here is some Red Frills mustard I planted in early November, and it is now ready for harvest, standing some six inches tall and being its deeply-lobed, frilly self, ready to put some mustardy zip into the restaurant salads below decks.  This was planted under the cover of a cold frame lid, but save for that single sheet of Solexx (a translucent but not transparent double-walled greenhouse material) and the plywood surround, there was no special bottom heat or compost bed or any other gardener’s sleight of hand applied to get the greens to grow.  Granted these greens would grow to the same height in about 30 days during the summer, but a 70 day waiting period doesn’t seem that bad for the dead of winter.  Our restaurant harvest slows considerably during the winter both because there is no “instant” grow back on material cut and because new plantings take longer to mature, but if we had enough empty bed space in October and early November (not the case at Noble Rot, as we are striving to take those summer veggies to their last gasp), then there could still be an abundant harvest even now.  So the idea of winter rest for the gardener comes not so much out of necessity as out of preference to work in the sun and dry soil versus in the driving rain and mud.  And if you’ve spent some winters in the Pacific NW, can you blame us gardeners for creating a down season which Nature does not actually oblige us to take?