It's March 4 and it's closing in on 90 degrees here in Santa Monica so, although we're getting ready for spring in the community garden, it feels more like summer. It's an especially abrupt shift in the weather because I've just returned from Germany where, although it wasn't as cold as it's been this winter, it was in the 20-40F degree range and required a coat and hat if you were going to be out for very long.
We've had a warm winter in general here in Southern California, which has made for an early season for the sweet peas (above, next to the still-blooming poinsettia). And today, when I stopped by to water and pick some celery, arugula, lettuce and the purple osaka mustard (which was easily the star of the winter garden), one of the other community gardeners even said she was thinking of starting her first tomato plant.
Personally, I think I will wait until the Tomatomania folks come through later this month with their seedling sale. In the meantime I might also start a few by seed as I just received some free seeds from the good folks at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. Baker Creek is donating the seeds as part of the LabelGMOs.org campaign, which is looking to get an initiative onto the ballot in California that requires food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if its contains genetically engineered ingredients. A win-win, if you ask me.