Garden Inventory: February 2011

Here’s how the garden is sitting as of Feb 1:
  • Beets – we are down to just a few beets now.
  • Brussels Sprouts – we had a nice big feed of brussels last month and stripped the five plants almost bare.  There are enough sprouts left for one or maybe two more meals.  I’ve been impressed at how the remaining sprouts have sized up in just the past few weeks.  In mid-Jan, when I harvested a big crop of sprouts, the top-most sprouts were hardly bigger than a jumbo pea.  Now they are a respectable large-marble size, and just right for cooking!
  • Overwintering Cabbage – we ate that last winter cabbage last month, so now we are out until the early cabbages come in.  We do have several little proto-cabbages started last fall.  They’re about 9″ across and clearly growing.  I’m not sure if they’ll head, but until I need the bed space I’ll leave ‘em and wait and see.
  • Carrots & Parsnips – down to a small patch of each.  I started with about ⅓ bed of each, and last month more than half of that remained.  We harvested a lot of carrots last month – I think there may be only one or two little ones left, and probably 12-15 parsnips of widely varying size.
  • Kale & Collards-the kale has really put on a flush of new growth these past few weeks.  The Cavalo Nero is pumping out little side leaves.  I look forward to selective harvestings until the kales start to go to blossom.  And then, kale blossoms (or as I like to think of it, broccoli without the work!).
  • Winter Cauliflower – Didn’t grow cauli last year, so I am clearly not harvesting any.
  • Sprouting Broccoli – not yet sprouting.  The Sprouting Broccoli is small this year, maybe 12″ across. In past years, it’s been over twice that size. The soil it’s growing in this year is on the clay side, so I think that’s slowed it down a bit, and then the really low temperatures over this past winter definitely checked it’s growth for some time.
  • Chard – I am amazed to report that some of the chard is coming back.  Looks like the Fordhook Giant was the most cold hardy because it’s sending up new leaves that are pretty respectable – about the size of my palm.  The Bright Lights has been winter killed.  The crowns are all slimy.  The only thing eating them now are the worms, and they are welcome to them.
  • Leeks-still a half bed full of nice, small leeks.  Until I can figure out how to dig them without breaking them all to hell, harvesting will be limited.
  • Turnips & Rutabagas – No turnips, as reported last month.  Rutabagas continue to put on size.  I have at least 15 good size ‘bagas tucked away in various beds.  Having a lot of rutabagas makes me feel like a good little suburban homesteader.  I don’t know why, but they’re one of those vegetables you just want around should a crisis hit.
  • Salad Greens – the greenhouse lettuce is looking nice!  Again, I’m surprised.  It hung out looking on the verge of molding away for much of the cold winter, but now it’s got some life in it again.  There’s lots of new growth from the butterhead and romaine lettuces, and some Ruby Streaks mustard I planted last fall is positively beautiful.  It’ll run to seed fast as the days get longer, so I’ll be harvesting the mustard asap.
  • Jerusalem Artichokes – still plenty underground.  Too many.  Someone send me a good sunchoke recipe for something that’s not a soup.
  • Stored Winter Squash – still have a couple mini acorns, a banana pink jumbo, the lone sugar pumpkin, and nine – 9! – butternut.  We like squash but the huge blue hubbard I cracked into a few days ago because it was starting to soften will keep up in squash for weeks.  I’m going to have to get creative to get my family to eat that much butternut before it goes the way of the compost.  Any great suggestions? 
  • Garlic’s looking great, too:
To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: February 2011
When Is A Hobby Not Just A Hobby?

Comments

  1. Beautiful and inspiring garden!

  2. Thanks Jennifer! I find the close-up photography blurs out all the background weeds! ;)

  3. I would love to see your garden someday. Inspiring. Caroline just finished up the butternut I made for her. You could make some for Oliver and freeze it :)

  4. Thanks Laura! Let me get the late-winter clean up done and I'd love to give you a tour! :) After 5 months of neglect (I'd rather neglect the garden than the new baby!) it's not in peak form, but it's still producing – that's what amazes me! That's a great idea for the squash – I was thinking about doing a post about homemade babyfood anyway, I think your comment was just the inspiration I needed.

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