Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Week's Harvest - Reanimated Winter Veggies

tango lettuce
This week's harvest is pretty light (by choice). Friday evening, after landing in Boston from Tallahassee, I took a detour before heading home and stopped by the Super 88 Market, which is a chain of Asian grocery stores in the Greater Boston area. I hadn't been to one since we moved into our new home so I was very excited to stock up on dried staples, sauces and Asian greens. Our refrigerator is filled right now with Napa cabbage, snow peas, long beans, water spinach, etc.

Harvesting winter lettuce
This weekend, I harvested more of my Tango lettuce. I must say that this is by far my favorite lettuce grown this year. This variety produces mini heads of crisp and frilly green leaf lettuce. The texture holds up well in a salad and the flavor is unbelievable. Whereas my lettuce mix is beginning to show strain from the frigid nightly temperatures, Tango is extremely resilient. In fact, it does not seem phased by the weather at all. I had to harvest this batch pretty quickly as the garden fabric began to freeze 5 minutes after I lifted the hoop house.

winter carrots
I'm now harvesting both varieties of carrots I have growing this winter (Nantes and Napoli), which are coming in all shapes and sizes. Both varieties are super sweet and I will undoubtedly be growing them again. Up until now, we've been munching on them raw. Maybe this week, we'll be able to restrain ourselves and I can actually find out how they taste cooked.

Harvesting winter carrots
I love the feeling of being able to harvest fresh veggies even when there is 6 inches of snow on the ground.

Winter Gardening Update - As I mentioned earlier, we had a few nights last week during which the temperature dropped down into the teens. Saturday morning at dawn, I inspected my hoops houses for the first since the prior weekend. I did not like what I saw. The inner layer of garden fabric was frozen stiff and all of my winter greens appeared to be frozen solid. I thought for sure that my winter gardening adventure had come to an abrupt end. I wish I had taken pictures of it time, I definitely will.

Then by 10:30 AM, the frost and frozen droplets of water clinging to the inside of my hoop houses had begun to melt and I decided to take another look. The inner fabric felt heavy and wet, and beads of water fell to the ground as I lifted it. Amazingly, most of my greens showed no signs of having been frozen a few hours before. I was completely surprised and ecstatic. This is plant reanimation in it's purest form. The only veggie showing any signs of damage is my lettuce mix (and only around the edges of the bed). I love these little gardening victories. We'll see how they do later in the week when temperatures are expected to drop down into the single digits. I will be keeping my fingered crossed.

reanimated spinach
reanimated lettuce mix
reanimated carrots
lettuce under cover
salad greens under cover
Winter greens under cover.

If you'd like to see what other folks are harvesting or would like to show off your own, visit Harvest Mondays at Daphne's Dandelions.


  1. What a brave garden, riding out the snow and low temperatures. As always, beautiful photographs.

  2. Everything looks beautiful - both harvest and winter garden.

    Those carrots look absolutely delicious!

  3. Wonderful harvest for this time of the year. Nothing beat fresh pulled sweet carrots. It will be interesting to see how long all the vegetables last.

  4. I love seeing what you're doing. Since you are so close to me, it is wonderful to be able to see what is possible for next year. Great job!

  5. Everything looks fantastic! Congrats on a true Winter Garden!

  6. It's amazing how some veggies can look almost dead from the freezing temps - then completely morph back into their former appearance. Everything is looking really good.

  7. Thomas, you will be proud, I finally made it out to the garden! Loving the December harvest.....hope your newly reinforced hoops will stand up to our New England Winters!

  8. Brrrr, that sounds cold!
    Everything is looking really healthy - and those carrots look good enough to eat! :)

  9. Great looking harvest. I'll have to look into the tango lettuce.

  10. Your crops are still doing excellent and nice harvests this week too. I love all your fall carrots. Wish mine did better but I don't have enough direct sun in the fall months. Good luck with the rest of the season.

  11. The carrots are beauties and the greens are MARvelous! I'll keep my fingers crossed, too, since I'm gardening vicariously through you right now!

  12. Thomas, you make me want to go back to WA to grow a winter garden! I don't think it's possible to grow anything decent here in the desert :-(

  13. Gran! It's so nice to hear from you. I just dropped you an email. I am sure an accomplished gardener such as yourself will get something out of that desert soil!

  14. I'll have to try your Tango lettuce and we do like the Nantes we grew this year. Thomas, beautiful and amazing what you have accomplished... a true Victory garden.

  15. Your system seems to be working, I never would have imagined being able to harvest veggies, especially tender lettuces from a snowy garden! Everything looks like it came out of a spring garden. Good job!

    There's a chain of Asian grocery stores in the SF bay area called Ranch 99 that I like to shop at when I'm in the area. I love Vietnamese fish sauce and must have it in the pantry at all times.

  16. Bravo! What an inspiration you are. Out in Western Mass ... I am buying local greens... must build a small greenhouse this summer! Yummy salad! Carol