This week was a bit of a disaster – we had two storms; one blew everything over and ripped plants to bits, and the other dumped snow, ice and hail over everything. And to top off all that, we have had two very severe frosts already, which have pretty much finished off anything that we had hoped to still harvest from the last of the summer crops, and it has also put paid to a lot of our autumn planting. Anything that is not frost hardy is looking very sad, and that was NOT the plan!
HARVESTED THIS WEEK:
1 large bucket of Yams
1 large bowl of mixed Kale
1 handful of mixed baby Carrots
a few baby Parsnips
a few purple sprouting Broccoli
2 Tat Soi plants
a bunch of Collard leaves
a handful of Blue Shelling Peas
a handful of mixed green Beans
1 medium Savoy Cabbage
a handful of Chioggia Giant Chicory
bowl of ripe Tomatoes
bowl of just starting to ripen Tomatoes
last of the baby Patty Pan Squash
All of the last of the Celery
Some of this we would not have normally picked just yet, but due to the terrible weather, we had decided that it was better to pick what we could now, rather than lose it later.
WINTER FOOD STORAGE:
I also picked all the celery as it was getting past its best and we needed the room for other plants. I got a huge bowl of it and after cutting out the bits that were not worth eating anymore, we ended up with 3 bags of it for the freezer. I use the stalks in Asian cooking and salads, and put the leaves in stews and soups, nothing is wasted on our property!
NOTE: You cannot really use frozen celery for eating raw, but it is still perfectly fine for cooking. 🙂
Storm & Frost Damages:
Broken plants, “fried” Tomato’s, snow on the seedlings, the Zucchini are all browned off and burnt, and the Brussel Sprouts got all blown over sideways, so now they are lying down on the ground. I do hope they continue to grow that way, as there is not a lot else I can do…
The rest of the garden is looking great, most of the winter plants are actually thriving in the frost and cold, its just the autumn ones that are looking pretty sad from being frozen! The photo of the Yams, is obviously before we picked them!
Preparation for Winter Planting:
We’ve been carefully keeping our biggest and best home-grown garlic cloves in the cool and dark for seed this winter. Remember, the cloves grow like a clone of the mother plant, so whatever you use as “seed” is what you will end up with.
Remember also, to keep planting seed of your winter crops – Brassica’s in particular. If you keep sowing some seed every couple of weeks, you will have a continual harvest to feed your family throughout the season.
This Autumn, we are growing Florence Fennel (the bulb type), Globe Artichokes, lots of Kale and other Brassica’s, Winter Mesclun, Onions & Leeks, Spinach & Silverbeet, Chervil, Parsley, Marigolds and much more!
NOTE: some plants like Carrots, can stay in the ground while waiting to use them (even if its frozen), once fully grown, but, their tops are very frost sensitive so they will not continue to grow if the tops die off from frost burn; this happened to us last year. Right now, we are in the middle of building some cloches to protect the tops of our still growing carrot crops.
Whatever you are growing and wherever you are, I hope you have a better week in your garden than we did! 🙂 Suz
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