The garden trug sits by the back door, mostly unused as of late. With an inch of snowfall this past week-end, we considered bringing it in and retiring it for the season. Monday, though, brought a bounce in the weather, warm enough to get out in the garden, poke around, and see what’s survived thus far.
Temperatures were in the high 50°F’s, bright and sunny. We opened all of the covers over the raised beds to air them out. Given how short the days are this time of year, being able to putter in the garden was an instant mood enhancer.
After the extra row cover was slipped off, the greens beds soaked up the sun and began to recover from the effects of the cold. Above: chicories, fun jen, kales, chard, arugula and salad greens.
Last season’s chard and kale were left standing in the corner of their raised bed, their bare stalks looking like a Dr. Seuss drawing. It was time to pull them up in order to finish mulching the bed with seaweed.
There’s really not much left to the old planting of chard and kale. They’d been left uncovered through the fall, and suffered from the exposure.
Despite snow and freezing temperatures, though, they tenaciously continued to push out new growth.
We salvaged what chard and kale we could, and were surprised how much it amounted to. There’s certainly enough here for a meal or two.
We’re still learning how to use the fun jen, and harvested half the heads to cook this week. When we went to clean them, we found a fat caterpillar tucked down between the leaves. It was deposited in the kitchen scrap bowl, however, after we’d finished washing, we went to look and the caterpillar had disappeared. It moved surprisingly fast for something we thought half-dead, and we’re hoping it took refuge amongst the compost and not our kitchen cabinets.
The celeriac, a variety called Brilliant, are being stored in-ground, snugly covered with a blanket of leaf mulch and protected by hooped plastic.
As we’re discovering, it’s difficult to harvest once things are covered with snow. We pulled some of the celeriac to store inside, and have on hand to cook with as needed.
The Napoli carrots were the prima donnas of the harvest, timing their shot for the magical light that comes as the day wanes. We’d pulled up about half of them and, at this point, they’re as sweet as can be. The rest we left in-ground with the parsnips, as a test to see how they’ll over-winter.