Carrot (Nantes) harvest.
As I collected the last of November's harvest this past weekend, I began to realize that the next few weeks will serve as a kind of transitional period - my fall garden is slowly developing into a winter garden. Saturday was a particularly windy day. The northeasterly wind brought with it a rather ominous chill unlike what we've encountered so far this fall. For sure, I will have to add another layer of protection inside my mini-hoop houses sometime soon, maybe even this week.
Some Rouge D'Hiver lettuce grown in a pot. The slug responsible for the slight damage was found and quickly dispatched.As I did a bit of work in the garden today, I wondered, when would be an appropriate time to start referring to your garden as a winter one? The obvious choice would be around the time of the winter solstice (December 21-22). However, this seems rather late to me (maybe because our winters tend to start early here in New England). I think the first of December would make much more sense since I hope to be well into spring garden planning/planting mode by March.
Clockwise from top: young pea shoots and pods, flowering Chinese kale, Easter-Egg radishes, baby Red Detroit beets.
It's not uncommon to feel as you through you're "scavenging" or "salvaging" rather than "harvesting" this time of year, which is partly what I did this weekend. In addition to the carrots and lettuce that I harvested, I pulled some baby-sized beets that I had growing in one of my carrot beds. Since I hadn't bothered to thin them so they never developed proper bulbs. Nonetheless, I'm sure they will be tasty. I also picked the remaining young pods and shoots (both were a bit frost damaged) before pulling up my pea plants. I had a surprisingly decent radish harvest as well this weekend. They were completely unblemished and the best tasting so far this fall - with only a hint of spiciness and none of the bitterness, which is just how I like them. I'm happy I decided to giving this late sowing a try. Finally, I picked some flowering Chinese kale that I had growing under one of my quick hoops.
As I was harvesting my Chinese kale, I realized that I had not discussed them at all up until this point. At first glance, they look almost identical to the Chinese broccoli that I had growing earlier this fall. However, the leaves on this veggie are a bit larger, meatier, and more round. I added these to a Chicken soup I made on Saturday and it tasted pretty good.
If you'd like to see what others are harvesting or would like to show off yours, visit Harvest Mondays at Daphne's Dandelions.