What We’re Eating this Winter

by Daisy

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It’s been a mild winter this year, so far.  We have had several freezes, including a light snow, though, and in spite of this, we’re still eating from the garden, here on the last day of January.

Savoy Cabbage

A second crop of broccoli sprouts


Red Leaf Lettuce

Beet greens





And chervil

Among a few other things.

There are few things in one’s culinary/gustatory life more satisfying than sitting down to a big salad from your garden in the dead of winter.

I’m continually amazed how cold-hardy these things are.  They freeze, of course, but when they thaw, they are virtually unscathed.

I’m reading Eliot Coleman’s Winter Harvest Handbook now and hope to improve my winter gardens in the years to come, making them more productive and reliable.  The first hurdle was realizing the possibilities–trying in the first place to have winter vegetables.  Now my second hurdle is learning more about techniques and doing this more deliberately, because, to be sure, much of my success this season has been accidental.  I just read a list of cold hardy veg and tossed some seeds out there late last summer, early fall.

Tomorrow we’ll be giving away a couple of copies of The Winter Harvest Handbook, and I’ll have some of the most inspirational quotes from the book to share.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

mari_smith January 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Yum! Your Turnip and Beet look delicious.

Lora January 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm

All of the greens look delicious:-) . The photos remind me of gardening one year in Virginia – my kale did better in the winter than it had during the summer (problems when the weather was warmer with cabbage worms or a similar pest).

tameka January 31, 2012 at 6:51 am

Those veggies look beautiful. Since I still see a little green in my Michigan garden, I’m going to check to see if they’re good enough to eat. Thanks for the info.

katie January 31, 2012 at 7:12 am

Just curios what zone you are in?

Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free January 31, 2012 at 8:17 am

These are beautiful plants! It’s almost like cheating the calendar to grow such wonderful food in the winter.

Deborah Thomas January 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

Your veggies look scrumptious. Do you have a very big yard? I rent and only have a little 2×4 area that I can plant in the ground and the rest are container gardening which I have not had much luck with.

Heather aka herbi January 31, 2012 at 8:56 am

Season extension is always so exciting-Im very jealous of your Winter harvest. In northern MN I will not be harvesting the garden in January, but I do have luck with things wintering over; so, I will dream of those delicious sweet carro, mints, and parsely I will pick in the early MN Spring (probably mid summer for the rest of you- LOL)

Tomato Lady January 31, 2012 at 9:17 am

Deborah Thomas–Thank you! Our area with enough sun for vegetables is not very big, but I try to plant it intensively enough to make every square foot count. The challenges of small space gardening are many, and I sympathize with you! Have you looked into the self-watering containers? You can make your own, too.

Lizz January 31, 2012 at 11:04 am

You wouldn’t happen to live in MI?

Tomato Lady January 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

Lizz–No, we’re in TN. As southern as that sounds, we usually get many sub-freezing days here, down to the teens is common in winter, lots of ice and some snow. Some of these greens make it through such conditions, with some wear and tear, and green up nicely as soon as it begins to warm. I’m always amazed at what they can tolerate.

pumpkinsx3 February 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

I’ve heard kale actually tastes better after a freeze.

bunkie February 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm

awesome winter harvest!!!

Kris @ Attainable Sustainable February 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

It all looks so healthy! I’m really struggling with my soil and while I have peas producing, and eggplant coming, my greens are just not thriving.

JavaLady February 3, 2012 at 12:15 am

Say, what is Mache ?? That looks like something I would eat !! I usually eat spinach greens or very dark, leafy mediteranean mixed greens. I can not digest lettuce. How long do leeks take to grow ? I love leak-n-carrot soup, but have never grown my own. Good job !! I’ve been having Gardening Dreams for about 3 weeks now….

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