Winter Vegetable Garden

Sunday Stroll

When I went out this morning, I planned to use my new camera (thanks to mom and dad!) to snap pictures of where I want to plant apple trees, put in a bird/bee/butterfly garden, and build a chicken coop.  Spring has been dancing around in my mind lately, so that’s what I was thinking.  The temperatures today are supposed to be around 60, and it was pretty warm when I went outside.  I walked through the garden gate to daydream about sunflowers, lettuce, snap peas and tomatoes, and instead I decided to try pulling up a carrot.  I’d heard that carrots left in the garden until after the first frost are especially sweet, and I’d been waiting to try it.  I was surprised by how easily the ground released the bright orange carrot, so I decided to pull up all the carrots while the ground was soft and make hay while the sun shines.  Now I only wish I had planted more carrots in August, so we’d have more throughout the winter.  Mental note for next year.  I also spotted some of the turnips I planted on a whim peeking up out of the ground.  I’m honestly not a big fan of turnips, but mashed like potatoes they’ll do.  I’ll have to go pull them up tomorrow.  The spinach I planted late in the fall is small but alive, so I’m planning to cover it with some hay to overwinter it to have some extra early in the spring time, if I can restrain myself from picking and eating the little leaves now.

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These carrots are even nicer than the summer ones.

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A purple globe turnip peeks out of the soil.

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A spinach plant will have to wait for spring to keep growing.

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The carrots in my new garden hod sitting in a snow bank.

To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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10 Comments

Filed under Food, Gardening, Home, Outside, Sustainable Living

10 responses to “Winter Vegetable Garden

  1. I love the garden hod – very cool! I don’t know about the weather where you are but I know here we are in for many more months of freezing temps and snow. I don’t appreciate nature teasing us with warm weather and this big thaw! :)

    Oh, BTW, I did a post awhile back on storing carrots for the winter. I don’t know your plans for those sweet ones but let me know if you’d like I’ll dig up the post.

  2. Hi Jena- We’ve got a long, cold winter ahead of us as well! I remember your post on storing carrots. We don’t have that many of them now, so we’ll probably eat some and blanch and freeze the rest. But I was thinking of your storage method for next year, since I plan to plant a lot more of them and try some different colors, too, maybe red and purple.

  3. everydaywoman

    Beautiful! I can’t believe your harvest in December in New England!

  4. What a wonderful harvest of veggies.

  5. I second Jena- this bizarely warm weather is just not fair, because I’m sure it will be 20 below next week! It’s amazing that you have so many things surviving. I guess I assumed the frozen ground would finish off the carrots.

  6. CTDaffodil

    where did you get that garden hod…..do you have a pattern it was built from? I love it it would be really handy – and would love to make some for Christmas gifts next year

  7. Love the carrots! I remember some late pickings, back when I used to grow them myself, and yes, they do seem to taste sweeter, don’t they?
    The spinach is gorgeous! I’m having some for supper, but not as nice–nor as fresh–as yours!

  8. Joyce- This warm weather is unfair, but it was so nice to get outside today without a coat and drive with the windows rolled down, it really felt like spring. I enjoyed it while it was here. We have a friend in Maine who leaves her carrots in the ground all winter and just pulls up what she needs. I guess they don’t really freeze, it’s just like cold storage. Next year I’m going to try it.

    CT Daffodil- My husband’s father and sister-in-law built the hods for us. I don’t think they used a pattern, just went from memory. I’ve seen ones with wire bottoms in Johnny’s seed catalog. If you do a search for Maine garden hod you might be able to find a pattern.

    Margaret- I haven’t eaten them yet, so I can’t attest to their sweetness yet!

  9. Abbie,

    How wonderful! Veggies in December! I can’t really even imagine that! I have tender new poppy leaves emerging though, so maybe spinach wouldn’t be too big of a stretch. I’ll have to peek at my chard and see if it has any green at this point.

    This was a wonderful stroll for me to see today, as I deal with another winter storm. :)

  10. I’ve never been a big fan of turnips either, until I learned that not all turnips taste equal. The type you have there – called purple-top or purple globe – is a particularly strong turnip-y turnip. I don’t care for it.

    However, we’ve gotten some other varieties from our CSA that have a much more mild flavor. We’ve had Hakurei, red, and Valentine turnips – all of which can be used raw in salads. The Hakurei, in particular, are a white turnip that is almost sweet when small. We got big ones last week and they were still surprisingly mild.

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