Post-Frost Harvest

After a week in which we were struggling to acclimate ourselves to the blustery cold, today we were granted a sunny, almost-warm day. It was actually pleasant to be outside again, so we wasted no time picking up the last of the leaves and cleaning up the last bits of herbs that finally died in the freezing temperatures of the past week.

We also were able to bring in a surprisingly ample post-frost harvest. There's still plenty of food out there under the cover of glass, plastic, or straw, so we should be eating well for the next few months. It may well be the last nice day, but it's not the last harvest. Here's what we brought in today:

This kale bouquet is just a small bit of what we have. A lot of the Russian kale got nipped back by the cold since we left it unprotected, but we fixed that today, and there are still a whole lot of leafy greens left for the winter.

Our last three cabbages were unaffected by the freezing weather, but won't last forever outside. The small one will be gone this week on tacos, but the other two should keep for quite a while, until we figure out something to do with them or turn them into sauerkraut, whichever comes first.

Since we've had a frost, the horseradish is ready to go. Cold brings out its flavor, and I will try to find some goggles so I don't cry grating this all up tonight.

The broccoli is still going. Some of the stems have fallen limp, but there are still plenty of florets near the centers of the plants that are in fine shape, and quite sweet after the frost.

The fall lettuces and arugula didn't grow very big this year, but because they are so close to the ground, they're still in great shape, even after the freezing weather. I pulled this whole bed, which leaves just one last row of lettuce under a tunnel for the winter.

Those greens, plus some dill, parsley, and beet greens made it into the salad spinner, and eventually onto our dinner plates.

Speaking of beets, I pulled the rest of the fall crop. They aren't huge, but we do have a bunch. As I speak, they are roasting in the oven, and then we'll freeze them to use throughout the winter.

I also brought in a big bunch of carrots. We still have a lot outside, but these were all in a row right along the wooden edge of one of the raised beds, a spot that freezes pretty quickly. Now that it's cold, it's better to get them inside before the ground freezes them in place for the winter.

Oh, winter. It felt far away today out in the sunshine, but by mid-week it will be cold again, and if the wind blows the right way, we could end up with snow on Thanksgiving. Glad we got all of our side dishes harvested and under cover today!


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