Thanks for getting this thread rolling! I'm itching to get started again this year too. Right now I'm motivated to get my worm composter rolling at full steam, to crank out some black gold. That stuff is amazing. I want to split the colony in two, and build up from there.
Last year, pinnah name-dropped Eliot Coleman, which got me started on reading his books. I just bought two of them- Four Season Harvest and The Winter Harvest Handbook. I read both of them last winter, along with a memoir written by his daughter, which was really interesting. Kind of a cool look into what it was like to grow up in the "back to the land" movement of the 1970s. I learned a ton from his books, and would recommend them to anybody, especially those living in northern latitudes.
I reworked the garden last year and modeled it on Coleman's raised bed system, and tried a couple other things he suggested, like horizontal trellising of peppers, using 6" grid nylon tomato netting. It worked out really well!
We're still in limbo here after selling our house and moving. As we plan to build a new house, I fully intend to incorporate an attached hoop house for a true four-season harvest. I really think this would work, even in Minnesota. Our recent "winters" have been a joke, anyway.
Here's hoping for another early spring! We're renting a house in the country, and I'm going to put in a garden here. I can't wait to till up the soil, because I've found several really nice agates laying out on the ground where the garden plot will be. So I'll be putting in a garden and turning up some nice gemstones at the same time. Sweet!