12 February – Weekly Update

A Harvest!

When we removed the row covers from the brassicas this past week (it got warmer), we were astonished by the number of small side shoots the DiCicco variety had put out. Some were already blooming a bit. We got a nice harvest of broccoli. Later in the week we covered the rows again (it got colder, was 20 degrees last night).

Broccoli shoots

One of the cauliflower plants had also started to make a head but then began rotting. We cut it off and threw it into the woods along with some other dead and dying leaves that we pruned from several different plants.

Three cabbage plants will be pickable in the next 2-3 weeks, and three more will be ready sometime after that.

We started some of the early spring crops this week in 6-cell pots (about 1 square inch per cell) in the following quantities:

Giant Musselburg Leeks: 12 cells

Tendercrisp celery: 6 cells

Lacinato kale: 6 cells

Collards: 3 cells

Red Winter Kale: 3 cells

Charleston Wakefield Cabbage: 3 cells

Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage: 3 cells

Chinese Kale: 3 cells

Dwarf Blue Curled Kale: 3 cells

Southern Giant Curled Mustard: 6 cells

We started significantly  fewer celery plants this year than in the past. Last year’s bumper crop (same variety) resulted in a large quanity of large sized plants and we have plenty of blanched chopped frozen celery for our cooking needs – it also works just fine in tuna/ham/chicken/etc. salads. We probably still have a year’s worth as of this writing. The 6 plants will be for fresh-eating to go along with the 6 overwintered plants currently growing in the garden.

By Thursday some of the kale seeds had already sprouted.

We failed to check the stored winter squash often enough (read: at all). When I went down this week to get one to add to a venison roast dish I found that our last long island cheese squash had gone bad. It had gone soft and wrinkly and was developing a tropism for Roald Dahl books. We’ll have to remember to check them more often next year and be sure to leave a Beatrix Potter book nearby.

I cooked a London broil the other day, and after searing it and pouring over the fond I deglazed with port I added a thick layer of salt, black pepper, and ground tarragon. Then I cooked it at 190 degrees for 2.5 hours (it was a 2.6 lb roast). I heartily recommend this method of seasoning it.

“…Add just enough to bind it together…”

I said that in a conversation about making pimiento cheese the other week, and I remembered it this morning as I was making some. The reference is of course to mayonnaise, or (if you live in the south) to Duke’s Salad Dressing. He asked me “how much is that”. My best answer was that it was just enough to coat with a thin film about 90% of the stuff in the bowl, but not enough to spoon out anything that is just mayonaise. I tend to use this rule in making pimiento cheese, ham salad, tuna salad or any of the other assorted mayonnaise salads out there. If I’m making potato salad I reduce by half again how much I use; there is so little in my potato salad that you should be forced to wonder if it is there at all.


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7 Responses to “12 February – Weekly Update”

  1. Norma Chang Says:

    Nice broccoli harvest. That’ a lot of leeks and brassica you are planting. You must have a huge garden. Will be a few more weeks before I .should start any brassicas.

  2. kitsapFG Says:

    I did a big seed starting this weekend as well – including the spring broccoli patch starts. I am missing fresh broccoli alot and am relishing the thought that in a few months I will be able to enjoy my favorite veggie once again.

    I have three pumpkins left in storage and they seem to be holidng up remarkably well, but the temps are a bit warmer and I really should make an effort to use these up before they go mushy like yours did. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Wilderness Says:

    Nice find on the broccoli shoots. Anything fresh from the garden would be fine with me right about now even if they has started to flower a bit.

  4. Barbie Says:

    Sorry to hear about your LIC – but awesome for the extra broccoli harvest!

  5. Lynns Urban Garden Diary Says:

    Your broccoli looks great! Good luck on your new crops. 🙂


  6. maryhysong Says:

    Nice looking broccoli! I think I saw a couple of puny shoots out there today….will look closer in a day or two when I have more time;.

  7. Jennie-Team Dean Says:

    beautiful broccoli. We tried leeks this year with nothing. I planted two times inside with a seed mat with no results. did you start from seed?

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