Monday, November 18, 2013

Still Harvesting Monday...

I'm happy to be able to say I'm still getting some harvests from the 2013 garden, even if they are getting smaller and more spread apart!
 This week I pulled a few small carrots and two very little fall cabbages that were used in a nice stir fry.
 There were also a few greens: mostly arugula, some chard, beet greens, tatsoi and a leaf or two of lettuce. I pulled a few more French Breakfast radishes as well.
And later on there were a few more carrots and Brussels sprouts. I planted twice as many Brussels sprouts this year as last but look to be getting about half as many sprouts! Go figure!
I am way behind on the fall garden winterizing as seems to happen every year when I tend first to get struck down with a cold, then the many scheduled activities take their toll and I lose my momentum. I am leaving a week from today for Florida to visit with my parents, brother and his family and my son for the Thanksgiving holiday which will further put me behind. But today is gorgeous out and I hope to take advantage of it this afternoon. And maybe a glimpse of green in the Sunshine State will lift my post summer spirits again! The first seed catalogue for the 2014 growing season arrived this week too, so let the garden dreaming begin!
Daphne's Dandelions is our host for Harvest Monday and I am looking forward to seeing what is being harvested around the country and the world this week! Head on over for a little garden inspiration!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Leek Greens, Or Waste Not Want Not

I've mentioned before on this blog that my husband is a vegetarian, so over the years I've learned a bit about cooking without meat. And I've found that one thing that helps me to make a very flavorful meatless gravy for his holiday mashed potatoes are the tough leek greens that might otherwise get tossed right out into the compost pile. Well, that is where they eventually end up, but not before I've made a flavorful broth from them.
 All I do is cut up the green stems into pieces and stew them with water for about two hours. Sometimes I let them sit overnight in the fridge afterwards. Then just strain the liquid out and voila, a nice golden broth that I will freeze for now and use later as a base for gravy or soup. With some added spices and salt it makes a meatless gravy that has some real depth of flavor to it and I feel like I've wasted a lot less of those nice leeks I grew!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Harvest Monday

My posting has slowed down because I feel like I haven't had much of interest to write about lately. We are gradually moving into winter, with temps this week predicted to plunge into the mid twenties at night and not get out of the forties during the day. But I still have a harvest to share this week:
I have quite a few leeks out there yet. They are not huge like my Welch forebears are famous for, but they are just fine in the potato-leek soup they ended up in! It's a favorite around here and perfect for cold days. I also harvested a few Kossak kohlrabi that were planted for fall. They didn't get very large either, but again, they work fine for some fresh vegetable in a cold season. It will be interesting to see how things keep with the really frigid nights that will be hitting the garden.
 I finally got around to planting the garlic last week. Discovered unfortunately that my German Red did not keep well at all, so planted a very tentative row. All the other varieties held up great. I planted about half as much as last season, because I really did plant way too much and I need the space for other things in the spring. In the photo above, you see I have the bulbs still at the surface, but no fear, they were pushed down three inches, covered and then mulched.

Thought I'd take a picture of the Brussels sprouts. You can see all the fallen leaves in the pathways, so there certainly is some neatening up to do down there. I'm still in the process of winterizing things. So that's it for this week's Harvest Monday report! Head on over to Daphne's Dandelions to see what other gardeners have been bringing in this week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Harvest Monday

With the change in seasons I think I completely missed Harvest Monday last week! October became very busy and it looks like November is getting even busier. The calendar is filling up faster and faster and I am having to squeeze in garden time all while fighting the inevitable desire to curl up on the couch near the woodstove with a good book instead. My two week long cold didn't help any either! Though it was mild, it did sap my energy.  I only have one photo of this week's harvest:
 It is eleven pounds of parsnips that I pulled from the garden today. I decided to bring in all the parsnips because I've been noticing more and more vole activity down there and sure enough, a number of the parsnips had their lower roots nibbled off. I don't want to provide those varmints any excuse to stay around and breed in there!
The parsnips came in all shapes and sizes, from the long cones you hope to get to squat short ones, to some that defy the imagination. Overall, it was a great harvest and the total for the season was around 15 pounds.
Maybe if I can't beat the rodents I should join 'em! My church group had a harvest costume party and this is how I dressed:
There's a tail too, but you can't see it. Thought I'd dress up as a famous cooking rat. Not to be confused with a parsnip-eating vole!
I also harvested Brussels sprouts this week but seem to have forgotten to get a photo of  them. They weren't very large and I believe I had better results with last year's batch despite the fact that I planted what I thought were better varieties.
The harvests have slowed down to near nothing now and I doubt there will be much more this season. What is still growing? Well, Brussels sprouts of course, leeks, kale, some carrots, kohlrabi (there are a few Kossacks bulbing up enough for a meal, but the Kolibri are just leafy),arugula, and tatsoi. Oh, it makes me sad to see the season ending! I'll be posting some thoughts on the 2013 season coming up.
I still have to plant my garlic! Today was a little too chilly for me, but it's supposed to warm up this week, so I hope to get it planted tomorrow or Wednesday. There is still plenty of winterizing to do too.
Now to check up on the other harvesters at Daphne's Dandelions, our gracious Harvest Monday host. I love to see what's going on in the southern hemisphere and dream of spring and summer!