Monday, January 7, 2013

the winter's garden

Is pretty much nonexistent. The greens in the cold frame have long since stopped growing and frozen over. But, before our recent spell of sub-freezing temperatures, I did manage to harvest the rest of the onions tucked around the herb bed close to the house. They were planted late - the remaining dozen or so seedlings I didn't find room for anywhere else. They're sweet little baby red and yellow onions. So delicious!

I'm worried about the garlic. A good portion of it has begun to sprout through the wood chip mulch. This is only my third year growing garlic, so I have much to learn, but I don't think it's supposed to be doing that. It's supposed to be taking a long winter's nap. Maybe I should've buried it deeper, or maybe that mulch is doing too good of a job keeping the soil warm and tricking the cloves into thinking it's spring? I don't know. I found this info to be reassuring, but I'm probably still going to fret about it for the next four months. Plants are smart, though, even in the face of user-error, so I'm still hoping for a good crop.

I finally got around to de-seeding and grinding up the paprika and cayenne peppers I had been drying for months now. It wasn't the most pleasant task, but is an excellent way to clear out your sinuses! (and discourage others from entering the kitchen to ask for a snack). I'm glad I don't have to do that again anytime soon.

I also harvested the ginger. Oh, it is a sad looking harvest! I think I may need to continue adding compost tea as a fertilizer the next time, and look into how to increase my yield.

We have a few pumpkins left sitting in the very cold mudroom awaiting some inspiration for cooking. Pumpkin cheesecake sounds like it might be a good option. Before we shared it with the goats and chickens, our Halloween pumpkin made the perfect lounge chair.

Is anything still growing in your neck of the woods?


  1. In my experience, you shouldn't worry too much about the garlic. We've grown it for the last few years and it's always up for us as early as November. Obviously, this is a different climate here in Kentucky/Tennessee, but we do get pretty brutal winters sometimes and the garlic survives no sweat. Hope that helps! - Jesse

  2. I'm kind of worried about my garlic too, but for a different reason. I think it hates my sand. :(

    We're doing a hodge podge garden at the moment until we can build our 'real' garden---just moved a few months ago. So, things aren't how I would really want them to be.

  3. Weeds are growing here. Alas, I have no time to garden these days although with our type of weather I could pretty much garden all year. Come spring, I hope to have time to do the things that really matter to me: sewing, weaving and gardening. Good luck with your garlic. Look at it this way, You are way ahead of me in the learning curve!

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  5. Being summer here (Sydney), my backyard garden is growing quite well. I've got more tomatoes than I can reasonably eat, and the strawberries have just slowed down in the past week.

    But I've yet to go and check them this morning - I'm a bit nervous about seeing what our 42C (107F) temperature did yesterday! Weird weather all over the world - super hot here, super cold in Eastern Europe and the US.

    1. Yikes, that's hot! Hope you are safe from the fires where you are.

  6. No, not much of a winter garden at our house. We ate the last of the fresh greens shortly after Thanksgiving. Matt is in the planning phases of a cold frame though so maybe next year!

    Your ginger looks good, even if not as much as you had hoped. Still, pretty darn impressive!

  7. That pic of the pumpkin seat made me smile so hard...what a cutie!! i have never made a pumpkin cheesecake but we have a couple of pumpkins here to be used up too...would love to know your recipe!
    I have the opposite problem to you at the is so very hot that everything is sunburnt or half dead and the pests have descended...must admit i can't work up much enthisiasm to work out there in the heat either..not sure i would like snow though lol!

  8. I didn't have anything planted except the carrots that I was slowly digging up to dice to put in the dog kibble. I'm hoping that they aren't mush in the ground with the cold weather we've been having. There was Kale still in the garden but mostly because I never got around to digging it up either. Now that I think about it, I was a slacker this fall...

  9. Nothing growing in my garden but my friend's garden is still producing cabbage, spinach, onions and broccoli! I'm starting to think I'll just buy from her rather than planting myself! LOL!!
    Your onions are beautiful and I love the pumpkin "chair!" :)

  10. But you GREW ginger! You should be so proud!!!

  11. Haven't dug the ginger up ... got some grocery store ginger and some Hawaiian ginger in the ground. The tops just died back a week or two ago. Still have onions showing and the dill is taking the present cold weather in stride ... a little yellowing, but no 'to the ground' die-back yet. I just moved from Detroit to Lexington, NC a little over a year ago and I'm still kinda picking my way through and learning as I go. In Detroit the ground would have been solid 6-8 weeks ago. Down here, I've got mud and my lawn gives way when I walk on it.

    The seed racks never come down around here. I'm not used to that. I'm thinking about dropping some kale seed to see what happens. For a buck-something, it's worth a try.

    Hmm ... the way things are going, maybe I should check the asparagus?


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