As Super Bowl Sunday's pregame show kicks off and we in Packer Nation prepare to formally hand over the title belt, the major complaint a lot of people have is that they don't like the matchup: a rematch of the Giants and Patriots. Some fans would rather see literally any other combination of two of the 32 NFL franchises than watch the Giants and the Patriots.
Well... you could be out in your garden.
In fact, as you may have noticed this winter (at least if you're not in Alaska or Europe; you guys can blame something called arctic oscillation), and as the USDA is indicating with their updated hardiness maps, it's a pretty good time to be out in your garden. For those that don't go playing in the dirt much, the USDA hardiness map divides the United States into a number of different 10-degree climate zones (each of which are then further divided into two 5-degree subzones apiece), based on how cold the average winter is expected to get in different areas. By knowing what zone you're in, you then know what kind of plants will survive the winter, when it should be safe to plant the ones that can't, and when to get your crops in and out of the ground.
The new map, takes into account the past 30 years, as opposed to the past 15 years used in the last map (which was released in 1990), and the map is warmer than the 1990 map, generally a half-zone warmer. That means different plants and earlier planting. The USDA, for its part, is going out of its way to stay out of the climate-change fight, but it's pretty hard to conclude anything but the blindingly obvious.
If you do play in the dirt, the interactive map is here. Once you find your zone, check what will grow in that zone. For example, I'm sitting in Zone 5, so if you're likewise, you'll want to go here.
After the game, of course.