By mid-winter, I long for the colors of spring, so I start my garden planning and organizing while we're still buried under snow and ice, eagerly awaiting my first opportunity to sow. For me, outdoor sowing for the new gardening year begins on the first day of spring. The ceremony of sowing peas is my official "It's spring" ritual. I soak my pea seeds overnight in a cup of tap water to speed sprouting (although, this isn't really necessary). Then, I love taking the round, plump seeds and snuggling them into a blanket of soil and compost. I know that within a couple weeks, the seedlings' bright green foliage will push through the ground, and I can enjoy an early harvest of pea shoots!