With the cooler than usual temps it's time to plant your winter veggies. For those new to our area or inexperienced with winter gardening, here are a few hot tips. Generally the things we plant this time of year will be the greens including kale, chard, collards, bok choi, lettuce and the brassicas including broccoli and cauliflower. The onion family and the carrot family are other tasty morsels that grow through the winter. The trick is that they like winter sun so on the hotter end of the season (now) it is helpful to shade them with a shade cloth until our daytime temps drop. During the winter they generally don't mind a frost and don't need to be covered unless it is going to be an extended and severe cold snap. I have only had my winter veggies freeze once and that was the time 4 years ago or so when we had 3 straight days that were in the teens and never warmed above freezing. So if that type of weather were to appear a frost cloth will be necessary to keep them safe. We're starting to stock up this week with starts and also have our shelves loaded with seeds. One final tip is that lettuce is a bit more finicky about the heat and has a tendency to bolt (go to seed) if we have a warm snap in late September or October and it's therefore best to wait until late October to plant. Many people consider winter the easiest time of year to grow foodstuffs and if you've never tasted homegrown broccoli, it's much sweeter than store bought!