1.26.12 Winter harvest

Temperatures have been bouncing between below freezing and, at times, almost 50°F. With a January thaw upon us, we checked the covered beds in hopes of having something to harvest. These were the last two tatsoi, one clearly too far gone. On closer inspection, the sturdier one had begun to rot at the stem end, most likely due to cell damage from the extreme cold, but still offered much that was edible.

The Russian, Lacinato and Siberian kales are not only hanging on, but even show new growth coming in.

As does the Swiss chard, which is proving to be the hardier than the Rainbow chard. With February just around the corner, the days are noticeably longer and the plants that have survived thus far are beginning to respond to the additional sunlight.

We also harvested about a third of the winter carrots and a couple of leeks. The carrots are the Nantes variety, and at this point have taken on an ethereal sweetness and crunch. The bed of King Seig leeks have an extra covering of leaf mulch, yet it’s difficult to tell if their survival is due to their hardy nature or the mild winter.

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15 Responses to 1.26.12 Winter harvest

  1. E. Baron says:

    Beautiful! Even the sadder looking greens would make a nice stock. And the carrots and leeks look perfect. All in all, those are some pretty nice winter veggies!
    Eleanor

    • leduesorelle says:

      It takes some upkeep but we’ve been enjoying learning how the vegetables change in flavor and texture as we move deeper into the season. And thanks for reminding me to save the limp greens for stock — now’s the time I usually make up big batches for canning!

  2. kitsapfg says:

    I love harvesting the bits and pieces of winter crops – they always add up to some lovely recipes! Those carrots are particularly tempting and beautiful. We lost most of our main carrot crop to carrot fly this past year so did not have any overwintered as a result. I am really really missing them.

    • leduesorelle says:

      It’s our first time overwintering the carrots, we made the effort because, just like you, we missed having our own!

  3. Daphne says:

    Beautiful harvests for this time of year. I’ve just noticed in my garden plan that I have no leeks. Maybe I’ll make it more of a fall crop and transplant some in late June. They might have enough time to grow.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Thanks, Daphne. We do a couple of plantings for leeks — these were started in March and planted in August. We’re pleased at how well they’ve stored in ground.

  4. Barbie says:

    When did you plant the leeks? They look perfect!

  5. Norma Chang says:

    Your kale looks healthy and happy. I wanted to reach for one of your carrots.

  6. Rick says:

    Beautiful harvest. We have had a very mild winter as well so some of my experimental crops are doing really well. But I like you am not sure if that is from the weather or the plant??? Oh well we can try again next year and just count our blessings this year.

    • leduesorelle says:

      The mild winter does make it difficult to tell, doesn’t it? We just saw that the USDA has updated the planting zone map to reflect some of these changes…

  7. The kale is so purple and beautiful. I cannot wait for carrots.

    • leduesorelle says:

      We’ve noticed wintered vegetables taking on that purple color, am wondering if it’s some kind of deficiency or just lack of sunlight?

  8. Your poor tatsoi… :( I’m glad the rest of your veggies are doing great!

    Lynn

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