March 4, 2014
Harvesting Vegetables In The Dead Of Winter!
As you may know, several years ago, I constructed a special greenhouse so that we could grow organic vegetables in the ground, using very little heat, all winter long. I was inspired by writers Eliot Coleman and his wife, Barbara Damrosch, who own an experimental market garden in Harborside, Maine called Four Season Farm. My gardener, Ryan McCallister, has been doing a fine job with succession planting and keeping the produce coming. I'm happy to share the bounty with family and friends. Very little goes to waste as these vegetables taste so pure and delicious and are a joy to eat!
1 The vegetables in this well-tended greenhouse are thriving!
2 Ryan knows I like my turnips small and he pulled out a generous bunch of Purple Top White Globe, which I roasted and enjoyed last weekend.
3 There was a beautiful harvest of tender, leafy spinach for my morning green juice. These plants are grown organically and have no chemical taste, what-so-ever.
4 Ryan uses sharp scissors to pick many greens. Here he's carefully snipping the leaves of Dark Purple Mizuna. When the leaves are removed in this manner, the plant will usually send up new ones.
5 With its piquant, mild peppery flavor, mizuna is excellent in salads, stir-fries, and in soups.
6 A gorgeous crop of frisée - Frisée is frequently used in salads, but it is also very good sauteed with a bit of garlic.
7 Another great green for salads and for cooking is this Italian chicory.
8 This lettuce is Black-Seeded Simpson, known for its broad, crumpled, and frilled leaves.
9 This is a type of romaine lettuce called Parris Island Cos and has a crisp, sweet flavor.
10 This is Limestone Bibb lettuce and these heads have a delicate, melt-in-the-mouth flavor.
11 It's such a joy having fresh greens growing like this during the coldest of winters.
12 Swiss chard is growing at the far end of this row.
13 This chard is called Five Color Silverbeet, or Rainbow Chard. When it matures, the chard will be a technicolor mix with shades of red, orange, purple, yellow, and white. It's so much fun to grow, to cook, and to eat this variety.
14 Ryan is also harvesting radishes.
15 This deep red, long variety is called Cincinnati Market and it has a crisp and mild flesh.
16 Another ingredient in my green juice is cutting celery. This herb is often mistaken for flat-leafed parsley, but the flavor gives itself away. It tastes more pungent than grocery-store celery and can be used as a substitute.
17 The beets are especially beautiful. This variety is Kestrel and produces perfect, round globes with excellent dark-red color and sweet flavor.
18 The beet greens are loaded with nutrients and are excellent when sauteed or added to soups.
19 The tomato plants look strong and healthy. These are a mix of varieties that were formulated specifically to grow in greenhouses.
20 It's so exciting to see tomatoes forming in March!