Weekly Garden Update: 2/27/11

A Harvest at last.

 

Carrot Harvest

 

We got back from a little road trip this weekend (which is why we didn’t have a post last weekend).  We immediately harvested kale and mustard for our braised greens at dinner on Saturday night, and we also harvested a nice little group of carrots.

 

Kale & Mustard

The flavor in the produce from our garden has to be tasted to be believed.  It’s like the stuff in Wonka’s factory, everything is better:  the carrots, celery, greens, *everything* in the garden has more flavor than even organic fresh produce from the best grocery store.  Only the items we get from other local farmers can compete.

 

Our celery that we blanched and froze this past summer is holding up beautifully.  I wouldn’t use it as crudités, but it’s great in tuna salad, and is perfect for any cooking application.  The dried tarragon from the garden (as well as all the other herbs) are retaining their flavor throughout the year easily.  I used a bunch of the tarragon in the béarnaise sauce I made last week.

Our first broccoli and cauliflower seedlings didn’t make it, probably because they needed more care than being abandoned for 7 days while we were out of town.  But the celery, leeks, and cabbage seedlings are doing well, and the onions this year look better than they ever have before.

 

Onion seedlings

Celery, etc.

Today we prepped several other boxes.  Also, since we’ve never yet been able to grow beets, we decided to follow some advice that suggested that we might need a magnesium supplement, and we diluted Epsom salts in water and treated all the relevant boxes.  As we plant other boxes this spring we’ll finish that process, and then reapply a couple times during the growing season.

 

 

Garlic

The garlic is looking great.  Also the letting up in the weather has encouraged the kale, mustard, lettuces, and the few cabbages, brussels sprouts, and broccolis that have made it over the winter.  The carrots are getting new greenery, hopefully that will be accompanied by more carrot as well.  Some of the cilantro and some oregano also survived.  We tasted the cilantro and wow, it tastes more strongly of cilantro than any we’ve grown so far.  There are apparently advantages to letting some poor plant live on another 4-6 months.

 

Today we also planted onions, carrots, beets, six varieties of radishes, lettuces, more cabbages and broccoli, and I reseeded the two pea boxes in those places where our germinating (inside) experiment didn’t take off.  I’d say that the experiment was a limited success, but might work better as we get more practice.  At least *some* of our pea boxes have a head start.  We also planted cilantro, radishes and carrots from http://sweetpeahill.blogspot.com/, more products of our seed exchange.  We attempted to transplant some of the densely planted cauliflower that survived the winter, giving each plant more room.  We’ll see if this works.

We started seeds indoors:  5 varieties of tomatoes (41 plants), 2 varieties of eggplant, 16 varieties of hot and sweet peppers (115 plants), some of which were home saved seed.

We gave away all of our extra seeds yesterday at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market Seed Exchange, so we don’t have any extras to share at this time, though we are looking forward to doing more of it later this year.

 

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Mustard

Carrots

Lettuces

Kale

Wild Flowers

Boxes - side view

Boxes 1

 

 

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9 Responses to “Weekly Garden Update: 2/27/11”

  1. kitsapFG Says:

    Look at all those healthy young plants! Your boxes are greening up already! You are really lucky to be in an area that can already start direct seeding. I am afraid I have at least three more weeks before I can start the peas and spinach etc…and we had a mixture of snow and rain today so it feels more like six weeks away! LOL! I know it will turn shortly but it does feel like winter is reluctant to depart this year.

    Produce grown fresh in our gardens and then harvested and used at it’s peak of freshness cannot be matched by anything purchased that had to travel or sit for a while before coming into our possession – even if they were raised in a great manner. It is one of the many rewards of growing our own food.

  2. meemsnyc Says:

    Wow, everything is looking great!! I love the little carrots.

  3. Barbie Says:

    Holy Cow your veggies are growing double time now. Looks great, and those carrots do look sweet!

  4. Mike Says:

    Wow, you are a serious gardener. It’s hard for us northern gardeners to see all those plants coming along where you’re at while we are at least a month away from that. Do you think that the cold weather actually intensifies the flavors of some vegetables like carrots?

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Mike, I don’t know if it is the cold weather, or the slow growth, or just time in the ground that intensifies the flavors. Maybe someone who knows more about it than I do will chime in.

  5. Lynda Reynolds Says:

    I love your neatly terraced beds…very pretty.

  6. Year Round Veggie Gardener Says:

    What a great space! You’re obviously more ahead then we are up here in NS, but hopefully the snow will melt soon and we can catch up! Those carrots look great! We’ve been picking the winter cold frame carrots since December and they are such a sweet treat!

  7. Daphne Gould Says:

    Looks like everything is doing well. Love the harvest. I can taste the carrots in the photo.

  8. Lori Says:

    Your harvest looks great! Your carrots have beautiful color. Love the raised beds, so neat and orderly. Can’t wait until it’s light and warm enough to be outside till 8pm!!
    ~~Lori

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