11.4.12 Forecast of frost

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With the weather about to take a decidedly chillier turn, it was time to get the garden tidied and ready for winter. The days are shortening, and we try to fit in as many chores in as we can while there’s still light out.

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There was plenty of leaves, limbs and debris to pick up after the storm, minor tasks considering the damage elsewhere.

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The celeriac and parsnips are being stored in-ground. Their raised bed received a thick layer of leaf mulch, and a low hoop cover of plastic.

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The winter greens bed — containing salad green, chard, kale, Fun Jen, and chicories (Brindisina, Galantina, and Pan di Zucchero) — is also now under plastic cover. Above: The chicories may need to be planted earlier next year to get full growth, but we were thrilled to see the Pan di Zucchero at least begin to furl.

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A harvest of kales, chard, and a mix of Brindisina and Galatina chicory. When the fridge is full, the chard and kale can be kept in buckets of water for at least several days, until ready to use. The chicory was prepared much as we learned recently while in Puglia.

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Under threat of a hard frost, we dug up the King Richard leeks, an early variety. The King Sieg leeks are being stored in-ground in another covered bed.

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The carrots were thinned, and the rest left in-ground in the same bed as the leeks. We also pulled a couple of the larger daikon to see how they were faring.

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This is the first time we’re growing daikon; their leaves have a most orderly growth pattern. We left the majority of them in-ground under a light row cover, but it remains to be seen how much frost they can tolerate.

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We grew several varieties of Tokyo turnips, but were stymied by an infestation of aphids. The roots ended up completely pockmarked below the soil level.

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The fennel continued to produce tenaciously off of the roots left behind from previous harvests, and gave us one last final picking before clearing the bed. Along with the daikon, we also grew Green Meat radishes for the first time.

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Like Watermelon radishes, these Green Meat ones are suitable for winter storage. We enjoy them sliced thinly in salads and sandwiches, and are meant to be great for pickling and delicious roasted.

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Many thanks to Maury for keeping our garden growing while we were away!

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19 Responses to 11.4.12 Forecast of frost

  1. katrina says:

    Oh, your vegetables leave me speechless they are so beautiful! It always seems so cozy to tuck the garden in, doesn’t it? I miss it – maybe next year I’ll find a garden:)

  2. The green meat radishes are gorgeous! My farmer friend just told me an interesting way to use the daikons: peel into strips with a vegetable peeler (like wide egg noodles) and cook very briefly in boiling water. Dress up with sauces and veggies for a low-carb noodle(ish) alternative. I’m looking forward to hearing your daikon ideas, when you’re ready.
    Eleanor

    • leduesorelle says:

      Wonderful idea, Eleanor, thanks for passing it on! The green meat radishes are a type of daikon, and I’m thinking would look lovely combined with the white daikon…

  3. Simona says:

    I love ALL the photos and I am a bit envious about the beautiful products of your garden. I am a very inconsistent gardener so I cannot complain. I actually harvest some nice things, like, right now, baby parsnips and still some potatoes. I have eaten and enjoyed the greens of both radishes and turnips: what about daikon greens? Are they edible, and if so, are they good?

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hello Simona! Not everything is a success, but it’s always a surprise to us how much of our own food we can grow. We left out growing Cime di Rapa this fall, knowing that we would have lots of other brassica greens coming in — including the greens from our radishes, turnips and, as you guessed, daikon!

  4. Carrie P. says:

    great looking veggies.
    could you tell me where you got those clips for your hoop houses? thanks.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hi Carrie, thanks for dropping by! The low tunnels are completely d.i.y., and a hybrid of cold frame and row cover. The hoops are semi-rigid plastic tubing attached to wood frames sized to fit over our raised beds. The clips are made from rigid plastic tubing that we’ve cut into 2-3″ pieces. Rather than just slitting each clip lengthwise, we cut out about an eighth to a quarter of its diameter to make it easier to slip on and off. The clips allow us to use Remay during spring/summer, and change to plastic for winter, when we drill the clips into the hoops to hold them in place.

    • claire says:

      You can buy premade clips from Johnny’s too if you’re like me and don’t own a real saw.

  5. Norma Chang says:

    You have the most well planned, most organized garden, I start off the season with a plan and try to be organized, but not too far along the way, everything starts to go downhill. Beautiful crop and photos.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hi Norma, you’re sweet to say so! We try to keep things going, but always look forward to the mid-winter pause…

  6. Green Meat radishes? Roasted? My, my, I learn new things all the time. I hope you will let us know how you use daikon. I don’t grow it because all I know to do with it is to make long shreds to eat with sashimi. Since I don’t make sashimi at home, I don’t grow daikon. And your post reminds me that it is time to plant parsnips out here in sunny southern California.

  7. Liz says:

    What a beautiful selection of Autumn crops. The green meat radishes are particularly interesting, and indeed pretty.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hey Liz! We’ve been working on expanding our winter vegetable repertoire, and are particularly delighted when we find one like green meat radishes that can be eaten both raw as well as cooked — the thing we most crave come January are crunchy things!

  8. kitsapfg says:

    What a lovely garden you have and those plants are all growing so healthfully and are good sized going into fall/winter. We are buttoning down our main over wintered beds too. The next four months are the dark days of winter, but thank goodness there is still green in our protected grow beds.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Thank-you! We learn more each season, the challenge of eating locally during winter in particular is what makes it engaging and fun!

  9. Amber says:

    Hey…your chicories are looking about like mine (Many of my puntarella style ones are a bit bigger but most about the same). But I have to say I have finally found a winner on the red radicchio front…Palla Rosa. For the first time I am getting soft ball size heads! Also I have been reading up on the puntarella style chicories and it looks like they may have to be forced to get the “pods” to form. I have eaten some of the greens sautéed with garlic and oil. Will have to try it the way you learned next. Thanks for posting that. Wow…have to catch up on my blog reading!!! I haven’t been able to post much lately but I will post on Harvest Monday again and put some pics of them up. Glad you made it through the storm :)
    Amber

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hey Amber, thanks for checking in, was hoping to compare notes! I’ve been reading up on radicchio, and it sounds like those also need to be forced… We’re letting the puntarelle go as long as possible, and are still hoping some center shoots will form, though we might just have to short a season to be able to grow them to that stage. Still, the leaves are delicious prepared this way!

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