Sunday, November 21, 2010

Salad Garden is still growing strong!

We are looking forward to a terrific salad with our Thanksgiving meal!  Since October there has been a freeze and several frosts yet some holdovers from Summer continue to be be productive albeit at a slow pace.

Kale tastes better after the first frosts and freezes.
It is also very nutritious.

Fall gardens require far less water and maintenance than their summer counterparts.  This deep into the cool season there is little to do but eat!  There are no bugs after the frost and only an occasional, easy to eliminate weed.

Buttercrunch lettuce is great for salads and lettuce-wraps.
Progressively cooler weather keeps the plant producing
without becoming bitter and "bolting".

     Sometimes an experimental plant can payoff.  This Montrieux Viroflay (Monster Spinach) is proving itself to be very prolific.

The dark green spinach leaves are tasty and also very nutritious.
     Other fall favorites include rainbow swiss chard and beets.  Chard is a tasty greens on celery-like stems which can be yellow, green, blue, red, or even "flamingo".  Beet greens are also useful but the root is rich in Vitamin A, Folate, Omega-6 fatty acids, and a spectrum of minerals.

Swiss Chard and Beets.
      It is still Christmas on the Cayenne Bush but more like one a week than every other day.  I recently stopped defending the bush against frost but it continues to grow OK.  There are even new blossoms!

The green fruit mean that it will once again be Christmas in a week.
      My garlic gave me a little scare.  I was concerned that it would never come up after being planted 3-4 weeks ago.  What does not end up in salads as green garlic will be harvested next June.  It is amazing how store bought garlic planted in good dirt in the last 2 weeks of October is incredible by the following summer.

Baby garlic is emerging and will grow through the winter.
     My winter forecast will be ready before the turkey is served on Thursday.  Unfortunately for lovers of winter the idea of a long boring mild stretches is definitely on the table.

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