Still eating fresh vegetables in February
This has been our
tastiest winter yet, especially when you consider the vegetables we're
still eating fresh.
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When the snow and freezes
allow access, we're harvesting as many greens as we can eat out of the quick
hoops, although the
lettuce is starting to fade. Arugula has turned out to be a
quality winter salad green, growing faster than the lettuce and holding
up to colder weather, plus the sweet, spicy leaves are delicious when
they make up about 10% of a salad. I'd say we planted just the
right amount of lettuce (three beds) and arugula (one bed), and
actually grew too much kale (six beds under cover and fifteen more beds
of kale and other greens uncovered). (In case you're keeping
track at home, I use "bed" to mean an area about 18 square feet in
sprouts have been a
major boon, especially because they're tall enough that I can harvest
the little heads through a deep snow. We didn't grow nearly
enough, with only one bed in full production and three beds finally
starting to bear from their shadier spot in the front garden.
Next year, we'll put more plants in the sun as this variety moves off
our experimental list and onto our list of mainstays.
it for the crops we're still harvesting out of the garden, except for
bits of Egyptian onions, thyme, parsley, and celery. But our
other stores are also doing admirably. The queen has been carrots, which have held up
perfectly in the fridge
root cellar (where they returned after a
week on the kitchen floor
covered by a towel during the coldest spell in January). We've eaten
fresh carrots, carroty soups, given away bagsful, and still have plenty
to carry us through until the spring crop. If anything, we could
probably get away with planting a little less than six beds next year,
but we'll probably hold steady.
We haven't eaten as many
butternuts as in previous years because we mostly consume them in
butternut pies, which depend on good eggs, and we've started eating
eggs for breakfast, so we're perennially short. The stems are
beginning to go a bit hollow and imperfect squashes are starting to
rot, so I'm roasting up the many we have remaining to go in the
freezer. I'd say we should grow many fewer butternuts next year,
but if we increase our egg supply, that might not be true, and chickens
adore the seeds.
We ate the last cabbage out
of the fridge root cellar last week, and it wasn't a pretty
sight. I suspect cabbages would like it just a hair warmer than
carrots, or perhaps they just don't have as much keeping power, because the last cabbage
split open and started to grow a new head from the crack. We'll
grow the same amount this year because I clearly haven't entirely got a
handle on the crop, but I suspect we may scale up at a later date.
Of course, we've still
got garlic and sprouting beans and white potatoes (the last of which we
hardly eat), though we're a bit low on sweet potatoes (due to this
our consumption). And then there's the contents of the freezer,
which seem to be holding up very well despite us eating soup about once
a day. While I won't mind fresh asparagus at all once April rolls
around, I don't think we'll be craving it quite as hard as we have in