Gardening in winter

When is the best time to put out a garden? Right now in the dead of winter. I have already received five seed catalogues, three of which came Christmas Eve and one after that. The first arrived about the second week of December.
     I love to look at those catalogues and dream of beautiful flowerbeds and bountiful vegetable gardens. Deep down in my heart I know I’m not going to do more than put out a few tomato plants. I know because I gardened once. That was enough!
     My one and only vegetable garden was a disaster. I raised 40+ tomato plants from seed then set them out. A storm came along and killed more than half of them. I replaced about 12 of them.
     I sowed beans and corn, three rows each, on a Sunday. I should have listened to my father who always said not to do business on Sunday. That very night another storm came and blasted my beans and corn out of the ground. I managed to get them back in some semblance of rows and hoped they would mature. I set out eggplant and pepper plants. I sowed cantaloupe seed.
     Harvest time came. It wasn’t much. The bugs got the eggplants, the peppers just sat there and produced about three peppers that never got bigger than a ping pong ball, and the cantaloupes didn’t produce anything except vine.
     I got one mess of beans from my three rows. Only three stalks of stunted corn came up and, naturally, didn’t produce an ear.
     The tomatoes did pretty well. One day I gathered at least a bushel of tomatoes and put them on a table on my porch. I was going to can the next day. The next morning I discovered that an industrious coon had taken a bite out of every danged tomato. I wasn’t going to can coon-bitten tomatoes so they were a total loss. I did have some eating tomatoes from my garden but not many because after that initial burst of activity they just seemed to give up.
     What is the sensible thing to do? Go out to the Mennonite produce places and buy their wonderful things. I’m never going to do a garden again except in my mind on a cold winter’s day. It’s a real hoot to do it that way.