11 December Weekly Update



10-12 beets, 4 small radishes, Actual Carrots and smaller carrots (the latter from thinning), cabbage, parsley, cilantro, dill (volunteer), the last of the celery, a bit of broccoli (which we ate for dinner and had great flavor).  Also, the rest of the swiss chard, a variety of greens, oodles of lettuces (including the one head of frisee we had left, and all of the mache).


Root Crops

Broccoli & Chinese Kale

We cut all the greens way back as we harvested them.  It will be awhile before we get more, but we have 4-5 months of braised kale cooked and frozen now.  It will be interesting to see if they sprout again in the spring, and when.


Mustard & Kale

With forecasted lows getting down to the mid-20s (they lied about last night), we decided to go into a more winterized mode.  We picked all of the carrots in the front box (we still have carrots in 2 other places), all the beets, celery, swiss chard, and greens.  Then we put up hoops and secured row cover fabric for the long term.

More lettuces

Row covers went over:  lettuces, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots.

Brussels sprouts have small sprouts forming but not anything close to harvestable yet, so we covered them with burlap for the next couple of colder nights. We’re not holding our breath to actually get brussels sprouts but with highs forecast in the mid 60s later this week, we want to at least try to keep the plants going.  Hope springs eternal.  Since we know brussels sprouts don’t overwinter if they don’t make before the really cold weather sets in they’ll be goners.

Parsley, celery, cilantro

Cabbage, beets, broccoli, carrots, dill

Getting everything washed and prepped was quite the chore, and lasted throughout the evening!

I mentioned last week that I was making caramel via the “boil a can of sweetened condensed milk” method.  I put 2 cans in the pressure cooker (unopened cans, but with labels/glue removed), and brought them up to 15 psi for 5 minutes, then I pulled the whole thing off the heat.  After it cooled down and lost pressure, I pulled the cans out and set them aside to cool. After an hour, I rinsed each can in cool water, then opened them.  I ended up with 2 cans of lovely creamy tawny brown caramel which was just a bit too thick to pour, so i was able to spread it over the cake as “icing” just perfectly.  If you like caramel this will make you wish you’d made another can, just to eat.  The sweetened condensed milk people advise against any method of boiling the can: explosions are not unheard of by people who don’t follow proper procedures. Caveat emptor.

This morning for breakfast I made fried egg sandwiches on toasted english muffins with a slice of the country ham (seared in the skillet), cheddar cheese medallions (placed on the skillet until bubbling and melting, then turn the heat off until they resolidify as crispy cheesy disks), and triple cream brie.  We were both like, “wow”, as we scarfed them down.


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11 Responses to “11 December Weekly Update”

  1. Robin Says:

    I have to admit that I am jealous! That’s quite a harvest for this time of the year!

    I have never heard of doing that with sweetened condensed milk. You learn something new every day!

  2. Norma Chang Says:

    Quite a variety of veggies. I see you are growing one of my favorite caabbages.

  3. Melissa Says:

    Beautiful harvest!

    My sis-in-law had a seriously unfortunate event when boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk to make caramel….pot boiled dry….can exploded…..sticky caramel all over the kitchen. Oh my! Glad your experience was successful!

  4. kitsapFG Says:

    That is a great mid December harvest! Good work planning ahead for the upcoming colder weather. Half the battle is watching the forecasts and taking appropriate actions before it is too late. The caramel and your breakfast sounds delicious. 😀

  5. Barbie Says:

    MMMmmm I make my Leche in the crock pot over night… yummmmmm….. I can’t believe everything is turning green again. I know I’m starting to see it in my garden but this really makes it real. *sigh* Oh well. At least I”ll have strawberries to brighten up my salads this year. *knocking on wood*

  6. Mary Hysong Says:

    What an awesome harvest! Since I was gone in the fall and didn’t really start planting much until I came home in Sep I haven’t got much, but boy do I have big plans for next year! I have the hardest time with dill, doesn’t really seem to like the weather here and when I can get it to sprout and grow, it only wants to do it in the winter time, where I want it in the summer for dill pickles!

  7. Michelle Says:

    Wow, that was a big job to harvest and prepare all those vegetables. Good luck with the sprouts, I find it so difficult to get the timing right to get them to form sprouts that I’ve stopped trying to grow them.

  8. mac Says:

    Very nice harvest for this time of year.
    Making caramel in a can sounds interesting, but I’ll be scared to death to boil a can in pressure cooker.

  9. My Urban Gardens Says:

    What an amazing harvest and in December no less! I’m jealous!


  10. Diana Says:

    Wow you have so many greens. I like your root vegetable harvest. I imagine a healthy carrot juice for breakfast;-). Your cabbage look so crispy and sweet.

  11. Mike Says:

    An excellent December harvest. Can you believe I have never grown flat leaf parsley, I really must try it this next season. Best of luck with your brussel sprouts.

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