I haven't given it protection. If I would get it together to do that, it would probably over winter every winter. As it is, it's a little borderline. Some winters it makes it and some it doesn't. Spinach is even tougher and usually makes it.
We do always have hard freezes and snow pack in the winter. They withstand it a lot better starting from seed in the ground in early fall. They are automatically adapted/ hardened and have plenty of time to gradually get themselves ready. Trying to bring plants that have been started and growing indoors out in the spring is a lot more difficult. It takes a lot of hardening before they get frost tolerant.
I didn't plant anything but garlic last fall, which is probably just as well. This didn't turn out to be a winter that much would have survived. The garlic did great and is growing again. If I had planted them and they had survived, I would be eating broccoli and spinach from the garden now, which is wonderful!
I looked back at my 2012 seed starting thread and found this:
"Fall planted broccoli and spinach continue to thrive and be amazingly productive in the new front lawn bed and the garlic there is looking very large and healthy. "
dated 3/29/12 https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 9&start=30
At that point, I had been eating broccoli and spinach from the garden at least a couple weeks already. I didn't make a note (or if I did, it is in some other thread and I'm not going to keep looking) about when I started harvesting it.