12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

After days of veering between rain and sleet, we’ve finally settled into some snow.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

The garden’s made it through the end of the year, the sunny day giving us the chance for one last harvest before the cold overcomes it.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year 12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

Gardening in winter brings its own set of challenges. The beds had to be dug out and the covers unstuck from where they’ve frozen in place. In the greens bed (above), plastic covered hoops and an inside layer of fabric has kept the soil from freezing. It was a joy to get our hands dirty, the residual warmth of the soil counteracting the frigid air.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year 12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

No plastic, just a double layer of fabric row cover over the tatsoi bed. The heads are usually upright in warmer weather. With the cold, they’ve become flat as dinner plates, hugging the ground in self protection. Though the tops appear viable, we were astonished to find their roots encased in a clump of frozen soil when pulled up. We left the last head in place to further test this hardy green’s tolerance.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year 12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

Salad greens and Fordhook chard — Both seemed cold-damaged when harvested, and revived in washing. A few half rows of the more cold-tolerant salad greens and nubs of baby chard were left under cover.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year 12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

Lacinato, and Siberian and Red Russian kales — All of the larger leaves harvested; the stalks and attached baby leaves left under cover in hopes for a spring crop of kale florets.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

King Seig leeks — Half of crop harvested; the remaining left under cover, mulched and in-ground to keep this cold-tolerant variety.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

Brilliant celeriac — The last of the remaining bulbs harvested for inside storage.

12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

December harvest: Salad greens, chard, kales, tatsoi, leeks, carrots, celeriac.

Experiments: Salad greens, arugula, chard, kale, fun jen, puntarelle and pan di zucchero chicories, tatsoi.

In-ground storage: Leeks, carrots.

Waiting for spring: Garlic, parsnips.

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8 Responses to 12.31.12 Harvest for the New Year

  1. Norma Chang says:

    That’s a huge end of year harvest. My garden is not protected so will see how the kale and collard survive this frigid weather. I think the parsnips will survive especially since the ground is cover with snow giving them some protection.

  2. Judy says:

    Congratulations on a beautiful winter harvest. Seeing that we can’t get the temperature inside above 64 even with the pellet stove roaring, you should feel great satisfaction.

  3. Bobbie says:

    That’s a great harvest. I have yet to venture into winter harvesting, it’s on the wish list for this year.

  4. Very impressive harvest under the snow! Makes me hungry to see it all. Maybe one of these years I’ll try cold frames–they definitely extend the growing season!

  5. Andrea says:

    Just amazing!!! Kale is such a versatile veg at present we are experiencing very high temps today 41 C and the kale just plods along……

  6. Lrong says:

    Great looking greens… Happy new year to you and your loved ones!

  7. Liz says:

    I love the lush green of the plants against the perfect white of the snow. Beautiful and amazing.

  8. Simona says:

    I love the photo of the flattened tatsoi: it looks surreal. Quite a nice harvest, I would say. I particularly admire your leeks.

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