Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:01 AM EST
By VALERIE MYERS, Erie Times-News, AP
ERIE, Pa. — Gus and Mary Picardo have been eating their own homegrown lettuce since February. By mid-March, they had tomatoes growing on more than four dozen healthy plants. Their fig trees were bearing fruit while most of the region’s figs were still buried to protect them from the cold. And their perennials and annuals grew stoutly from seed even when temperatures dropped below freezing. The Millcreek Township couple got a head start on their garden when they stayed home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year they fired up the furnace in the 18-by-48-foot greenhouse in the backyard of their West Ridge Road home just after Christmas.