|Posted on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM|
Each Monday Daphne’s Dandelions hosts the “Harvest Monday” blog hop. Everyone participating submits links to their posts summarizing the week’s harvests. It’s always very interesting and inspiring to see what other gardeners are producing from so many different growing regions. Here’s my contribution to the weekly harvest recaps for the week of January 20th through 27th, 2013.
We continue to eat mostly from the freezer and storage supplies for our vegetable needs. The potatoes and the winter squash have been keeping really well (so far) this year. I have only lost a few squash to soft spots and the rest have been staying remarkably firm. The sweet onions all sprouted on me a while ago, but the storage varieties have held up nicely. All in all our stored and preserved items are still in good supply and are holding up well. On Sunday I harvested some swiss chard. I was tidying up the bed of swiss chard and harvested while I was at it, but also removed and composted some leaves and stalks that were damaged by the freezes we had several weeks ago. The remaining cleaned up plants are healthy and have a good central growing point producing new leaves. The harvested leaves were used for Sunday dinner – chopped and steamed and then tossed with some butter and a bit of sea salt. This accompanied slow cooked beef ribs in a tangy barbeque sauce and potato salad (using stored potatoes, stored onions, homemade dill pickle relish, and fresh eggs from our hens).
I also pulled the last of the over-wintered turnips on Sunday. These were trimmed and cleaned and put in the fridge to be used later this week for a meal.
This weekend, I continued the slow tidy up of the garden that I launched last week. The task this week was to clear out the bed at the very back of the garden which has my rhubarb plants in it and used to have some bush pie cherries. I removed the bush pie cherries last summer as they were not thriving or producing and were wasting valuable garden real estate. The plan is to plant a new asparagus patch in this bed this coming spring (next to the rhubarb). The bed was in need of a good grubbing out as it still had some of the roots from the bush pie cherries in the soil and a lot of weeds. Here’s what it looked like before I started the clean up.
And here it is after I cleaned it up, added some recycled (old) potting soil from a couple of containers in the greenhouse, and cultivated/raked it. It will need to be loosened up with the broad fork before I actually plant in it, but it is basically ready for me to do that now.
Seed starting season is upon me now too. Usually I am just chomping at the bit to get the seedlings started, but this year has been different for me. Typically I have such a bad case of cabin fever by mid-January that I have a hard time restraining myself from starting things too early. I managed to avoid the cabin fever issue this year because late last October I began learning to play the violin and have been working quite hard at this for the past three months. This new "spare time" occupation has made the enforced confinement of winter far more enjoyable. I played piano for many years but have always wanted to learn the violin. This past fall I decided to quit “wanting” and start “doing”. I have a good instructor who I see weekly and with her help and lots of daily practice, my progress has been very good and the winter has just flown by. I am enjoying playing this instrument as much as I had thought I would. However much fun I am having playing the violin though, it is now time to get the first of the seedlings going and I got to that this weekend. I started several flats of seedlings including: onions (Ailsa Craig), celery (Utah 52-70), pac choi (Joi Choi), napa cabbage (Minuet), lettuces (Salanova & Merlot), basil (Mammoth Sweet), kohlrabi (Koliribi), and broccoli (Umpqua and Belstar). The grow lights are fired up for the first time this year and the shelves will steadily fill up now as I do staggered plantings of seedlings - timed so that they are ready at the appropriate time to go into the greenhouse and the garden beds.
The hens are laying again and our egg supply is back up to a comfortable level of 1 to 2 eggs a day. The injured hen is still in the house recuperating from her raccoon attack but is doing very well. The days are getting noticeably longer and the garden is showing stirrings of new growth and buds. Have you been doing some winter garden clean up chores and/or starting any seeds indoors yet?