Delicious, organic greens are ready to pick in my vegetable greenhouse.
My expansive outdoor vegetable garden is bare, but I'm fortunate to have lots of wonderful vegetables growing in the ground in a special greenhouse located behind my Equipment Barn. As many of you know, its design was inspired by Eliot Coleman, an expert of four-season farming. My head gardener, Ryan McCallister, does a great job with succession planting and keeping the produce coming. Last week, he picked a good harvest for me to share with my daughter and grandchildren. I find it so gratifying to have fresh, organic produce available in the middle of winter.
Enjoy these photos.
The inside of my vegetable greenhouse is always toasty and warm. And, during this time of year, there are many vegetables and herbs thriving in the rich, loamy beds.
We planted several crops here back in November, including kale, lettuce, spinach, chard, carrots, beets and many others.
On one side of the greenhouse, growing against the two trellises, are tomatoes and cucumbers. The vines are growing quite fast. Ryan checks them to see if any need more support.
These clever little rings are great supports. They are gentle on the plants and require no tying whatsoever. These trellis clips are from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/tools-supplies/crop-supports/clips/tomato-trellis-clips—100-count-9624.html
As the cucumbers and tomatoes grow, they are clipped to these vertical netting strips.
The clip closes around the vine and remains there until the end of this indoor growing season.
The vines grow up the trellises, and the mature cucumbers hang down from the net for easy harvesting.
When it is time to harvest, the cucumbers will be pulled easily from the back of the frame.
Here is Ryan harvesting several perfect cucumbers – I was so excited to hear they were ready.
With vitamins C, K and B, copper, potassium and manganese, cucumbers are both extremely nutritious and tasty.
Here is the chard. The stalk colors are so vibrant. With stems of red, yellow, rose, gold, and white, this patch of vegetables is always a visual feast in the garden, and at the dinner table.
Look how beautiful this chard is. Chard has highly nutritious leaves making it a popular addition to healthful diets.
Chard has an earthy and nutty flavor and is wonderful sautéed or stir-fried. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked.
Ryan harvested a great selection of chard.
Kale is a popular vegetable, a member of the cabbage family, Brassica oleracea. It is related to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts. There are many different types of kale – the leaves can be green or purple in color, and have either smooth or curly shapes.
Ryan cuts a good amount of this delicious kale. The lush green kale will go into my green juice.
It’s a real treat to have lettuce like this all year long. This leafy lettuce has excellent flavor and texture.
There is also a lovely patch of tender, leafy spinach for my morning green juice. These plants are grown organically and have no chemical taste at all.
And look at thee beautiful radishes. The radish is an edible root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family. Radishes are grown and consumed throughout the world, and mostly eaten raw as a crunchy salad vegetable.
The carrots and mache are not quite ready to harvest – they need a little more time, but they’re all coming in quite nicely.
Rosemary loves growing in this greenhouse! Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. Native to the Mediterranean region, aromatic rosemary is often used to flavor roasted meats, particularly lamb.
On the other side of the greenhouse, we grow cilantro, parsley, chervil and cutting celery.
Here’s Ryan harvesting some cutting celery, another ingredient of my green juice. This hardy annual can be used in place of celery and is easier to grow. The fine green leaves and thin hollow stems are especially good to flavor soups and stews.
One of my favorite culinary herbs is chervil, a member of the parsley family that’s frequently used in French cuisine. Chervil has a mild, slightly liquorice flavor, and is a good addition to omelets.
This greenhouse now stores my thriving citrus collection during winter. The trees are so heavy with juicy kumquats and calamondins.
It was a good harvest. Very little goes to waste as these vegetables taste so pure and delicious and are a joy to eat!