10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost
With the forecast of frost, we’ve been conducting vegetable triage, sorting which will survive and which need immediate attention. Like eggplant and tomatoes, peppers are frost-sensitive (31° – 34°F), and we harvested a mix of red and green Shishitos.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost 10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

There were plenty of Shishito peppers at the in-between stage still left. We brought them in and, after a couple of days, they reddened up. It took growing peppers for the first time to learn of this trick, rather than waiting for them to color on the plant.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

Also frost-sensitive are winter squash. The Delicata and spaghetti squash were already brought in several weeks earlier, not nearly as many compared to last year but welcome all the same.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

We left the largest of the Tromboncino squash out on the vine as long as possible, in hopes they would have enough time to mature. They ranged in size from the smallest at 2 pounds and 24 inches long, to the largest (above, bottom) at 16 pounds and 48 inches. We carried them slung over our shoulders and wrapped around our bodies, more like tubas than their namesake trombones.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

We count on the frost tolerance (28° – 32°F) of salad greens to keep us supplied far into the season, and a floating row cover gives them an extra measure of protection.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

Though not as sturdy as kale, we’ve found that the chicories also have a certain amount of frost-tolerance. Above, left to right: Puntarelle Brindisina, Italiko Rosso, and Puntarelle Stretta. In a take-off of Fave e Cicoria, the Pugliese dish of pureed favas and braised chicory, these greens will make a fine counterpoint to a bowl of savory Christmas Limas.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

Onions are considered semi-hardy (to 25°), and could have been left longer in the ground. Given how little daylight they’re now getting, it seemed a good time to bring them in and clean out their beds.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

The Daikon are also semi-hardy, though were getting so large we were afraid they would become pithy. The largest one, next to the scissors (above), weighed in at 2 pounds, which, as we later learned, is small for this variety.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

It’s always a toss-up between leaving things in the ground and the need to get the beds ready for winter. Like the onions, the rest of the winter radishes could have remained longer, though with uncertain benefit. Above: Watermelon, Green Meat and Daikon radishes; the red ones are rogue Watermelon radishes.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

This is the time of season when we appreciate any harvest, however small, including these baby Green Meat and Watermelon radishes.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

Rattail radishes are grown for their edible seed pods rather than their roots. The tops of ours were eaten by deer before they had a chance to develop. The foot-long roots were almost large enough to be carved into Jack O’Lanterns.

10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

The first frost arrived during the week-end, and hardy (at least 20°F) carrots are among the vegetables still left in the garden. Also remaining: Celeriac, leeks, kale, chard, chicories, tatsoi, and salad greens.

Carrots, winter radishes, shishito peppers, favas, chicories (puntarelle), tatsoi, onions, kale, chard, and salad greens.

Preserving: Fermented sauerkraut and frozen peppers.

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6 Responses to 10.28.13 Awaiting First Frost

  1. Norma Chang says:

    Beautiful harvest. Love that the long neck of the tromboncino squash is solid. Did all the trombies pass the nail test? Too bad about your rattail radishes, I was under the impression deer leave radishes alone.

  2. Michelle says:

    Are ripe Shishitos sweet? I’ve only ever eaten them green, like Padrons. Love those Trombocinos, they are almost too whimsical to eat. :)

    • This is the first year we’re growing the Shishitos, and we let them ripen to red as an experiment. We’ve also been eating them young and green like Padrons, and the red ones are indeed sweet. For some reason, though, they’re seedy and bland when eaten at the in-between stage. The Tromboncinos are like pets!

  3. mac says:

    Beautiful Shishito peppers and radishes you have there, I love the taste and texture of tromboncino squash.

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