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Monday is Harvest Day

December 10, 2012

Or so it seems most weeks.  Harvesting is a good way to start off the week, first I go through my stock of vegetables to see what is left from last week, and go from there.  At this point in the year, by keeping a weather eye I can go easy on the harvesting.  Everything that is left in the gardens is pretty cold hardy unless we get a deep freeze.  Lucky for us, deep freezes aren’t all that frequent, or at least not without ample warning.

Napoli

Napoli

On my list to harvest today was cabbage for kraut, mangels for Jane, and snacking carrots for us.

winter greens

winter greens

The dogs had voles on their list, and carrots if I wasnt’ looking…

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This is the cabbage I root pruned in this post.

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Root pruning gave me some time to get other late fall jobs done so I could make my last batch of kraut at my leisure.  At least it’s harvested, and closer to the house ;)

mangels

mangels

Mangels are more digestible if cured several weeks before feeding, so I try to keep Jane stocked up with cured mangels, or…it’s not too fun cleaning the barn, if you get my drift :p

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Napoli is delicious, but the weak tops make it a pain to harvest without loosening the soil first.  They tend to split too in the garden once the fall rains start, so we harvested the last of these today.  Our main winter storage carrot, Red Cored Chantenay holds all winter without splitting so we leave those for later harvests, they also have nice tall tops (until freezing) for easy pulling.

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bounty

bounty

This will keep me busy for a week or so, next week it’s probably be celeriac, rutabagas, kohlrabi and parsnips and more mangels for the dairy queen.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2012 11:28 pm

    What do you do with your winter vegetables if a deep freeze is forecast? What do you consider a deep freeze? Last year we would have had problems due to lack of sunlight, it was dismal for the whole of December, but this year winter came early and I guess you would say we are in the deep freeze stage ie it didn’t get above -6C (21F) all day yesterday. I still think we can extend our harvesting a bit more but I think it is going to take a little more planning

    • December 11, 2012 5:59 am

      Joanna, a deep freeze here is about 10F, which is a fleeting thing, and if that happens when we have snow the soil doesn’t freeze, or at most only several inches down. But if cold below 20 – 25F is predicted I hill the root rows with soil and that usually works. Some of the cabbage, and almost all the kales make it through the winter without any heroics on part.

      • December 11, 2012 6:28 am

        You are a great source of information and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer. My gardening up until coming to Latvia was in England and Denmark which have milder climates and I didn’t really attempt much in the way of winter gardening. I think from what you are saying that under a normal December we could actually keep things going in the greenhouse until mid- to late December. January and February would be out of the question as our soil freezes to a depth of about 1m (3ft), all water pipes need to be 1.2m down. This year, however, we would have lost most things as we have had several severely cold days already. You win some, you lose some. Fortunately the chickens are still happy in their arks inside the greenhouse

        • December 11, 2012 6:34 am

          Joanna, have you read Eliot Coleman’s Winter Harvest Handbook? He is in Maine and while it is about the same latitude as here in Oregon, he gets a much more severe winter. He plants in a greenhouse and then adds a smaller hoop frame over the tender crops, as long as the plants are mature, he can keep them from freezing. What most people don’t get about his method or winter gardening, is that it is harvesting of crops during winter, not growing that is not too feasible in most areas. You might be colder though in Latvia, but a small experiement may be in order next year? :)

  2. December 11, 2012 5:50 am

    Those carrots are beautiful. Carrots are one of the few vegetables that I buy because my soil is just too rocky to grow them to any size at all. I envy you being able to leave things in the garden this long. Here everything would be frozen veggie popsicles without root cellars.

    • December 11, 2012 6:02 am

      CQ, these actually are small, planted in late July, but I don’t grow large varieties anyway. Chantenay is my go-to carrot and it only is about 6″ long. I don’t bother with the store type. You might like the hybrids like Nelson, Mokum and Napoli they are pretty good for summer carrots, even in hot areas. I’ll keep my maritime grey wet days and leave the popsicles you ;)

  3. December 11, 2012 5:53 am

    Beautiful. We moved this fall and I didn’t even attempt a fall garden. I’ve never tried to grow one before but I plan to try next fall. I don’t know how we’d do but I hope to have at least a small green house to grow veggies when it’s cold.

  4. December 11, 2012 6:23 am

    Wow…you are giving me a lot of incentive to plant a great garden when we get out to Oregon!!

  5. December 11, 2012 8:50 am

    What a haul – love cabbage and carrots! Happy Tuesday:)

  6. December 11, 2012 9:56 am

    A small experiment! Well that appeals to me, mine and my hubby’s first degrees were science degrees and we continue to experiment on a regular basis.

  7. Chris permalink
    December 11, 2012 10:16 am

    The Dairy Queen!! Love it!! :)

  8. Bev permalink
    December 11, 2012 4:14 pm

    Here in N. CA at 3,000′ our temps get down in the teens real often. We raise the same carrots. First introduced to them in the 1970′s We found them to be the best all around carrot. Love them. We don’t have a greenhouse or root cellar. At our old place we were able to leave our carrots in the ground through the winter. Here we use a very large ice-chest. We found that we can store the washed carrots in the chest, stored in a shed. We leave the top propped open with a small wedge and have carrots until spring. They don’t freeze but stay crispy and cold. There are only two of us. The chest holds a lot of carrots and works great. A truly tasty vegetable ready when needed.

    • December 11, 2012 5:11 pm

      Bev, I know, there is nothing better, many times we still have carrots edible when I till in April or early May. Delicious!

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