Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cold Frame Update

Today the temperatures were above freezing so I went out to check on the cold frame and gather some greens for a dinner salad. It was different to see through the glass and not have ice on both sides. Almost everything had rebounded from the cold except, surprisingly, the italian chicory dandelion. I was under the impression that this was rather hardy but it was still limp. The carrot greens had browned a bit, but I've harvested the larger ones and those still in the ground are an experiment to see if they will survive colder temperatures.

Here's how things looked inside today. You can compare them to how things looked a little over a week ago on Dec 5th or way back in September.
The sorrel is doing fine taking up the middle of the first window, but I don't know what to do with it. We made a sorrel soup, but that was just so-so. Any suggestions? I harvested the largest kohlrabi in the back. Hopefully the others will size up. The mizuna at the bottom right is doing great. I took this photo after harvesting the larger chard leaves and arugula from the middle. The dark red leaves are beet greens. I don't think I'll get any beets, but we'll eat the leaves. There is some new tatsoi in the middle as well. Kale is in the back. I didn't pick any today.
More kale in the back, limp carrots and italian chicory in the middle with small mache under and small claytonia on the bottom left. Both claytonia and mache are supposed to be very hardy but I planted them late in shady spots and they haven't amounted to much yet. Maybe they will continue to grow as the winter marches on.

Next to the cold frame under the snow was some tatsoi. I dug it out to harvest two heads. Then I covered it back up with snow so that it will be protected from the harsh cold that's predicted for the rest of the week.
And here was one of tonight's salads with all home-grown ingredients. It certainly is a pleasure in December. More on the harvest next week.

7 comments:

Dan said...

You have some really big ladybugs in Maine :-) Your salad greens look excellent and yes it is great to be harvesting still in Dec. I have yet to try a single mache leaf. Now that all the uncovered crops are gone I need to get them in the kitchen.

Emily said...

Vermont actually, but yes I forgot that I stuck those painted rocks in the garden this spring. I made painted rock with my class last year as Father's Day gifts. The orange one is a car :)

June said...

I keep looking at my greens...admiring them. But I have been faint-hearted about harvesting. They don't grow so fast in the winter, and I might need them more in January, I keep thinking. But now you've inspired me! THANKS!

Dan said...

ah, Vermont, not very geographically inclined. My mom paints rocks, welcome ones for beside doors, light houses etc. They are pretty fun to make.

miss m (InfG) said...

Snow is a great insulator, indeed. Your winter crops seem very happy ! I doubt I'll ever stretch my growing season into Dec, but it's great to see it can be done. Is it your first year getting this far ?

Amanda said...

Your carrots will survive, being biennials - and not only will they survive, they'll get sweeter with all the cold! I leave mine in the ground after loosening the dirt around them before the ground freezes, a very informal storage method!

Daphne said...

We had snow down here in MA, but it has mostly all melted out already. Our insulation is gone. For us that is really typical. Last winter was weird and it stayed snowy all winter long. Your salad looks great especially for December.