Monday, 5 December 2016

Harvest Monday: December 5, 2016

Well, we've had some wonderful weather this past week but I am not going to be duped - I fully expect a nasty winter here!  I just wish it would contain itself to a shorter period of time!  And it started again last night with a few inches of snow.

I was driving back from the shops yesterday and saw a woman clipping dogwood branches along the ditches near my house.  And I thought, wow, I have lots of those in my yard, what a great idea!  So I snipped a few.  And grabbed a few berries from the yard for extra colour ... which I think are holly??

Feel free to speculate otherwise, I'm terrible with knowing what's what around here - I've moved a lot over the years and always getting used to local flora takes a while (Canada, you are beautiful everywhere!).

Anyway, on to the harvest.  My final harvest for the season are these Brussels sprouts.  I do have some greens hanging out in the greenhouse (arugula and spinach) but there has been very little sunshine.  And the rutabaga in the ground is not maturing well so I'll see how it looks in the spring (along with the parsnip which I am intentionally leaving).  In the picture below, you will see a rosemary plant that I am overwintering inside as well as the one remaining "mystery" squash (yes, OK, we know now it's basically just a spaghetti squash)  I've left it upstairs to use first instead of the properly matured squash stored in my cold room.

Although this is the last harvest from my garden for the season, I have all sorts of plans for things I've already harvested and will share anything of interest over the winter.  And now I will pop over to Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners are doing this week with the Harvest Monday collection.  Wishing a happy and fruitful week to all!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Harvest Monday: November 14, 2016

This is my first harvest of Palla Rossa Bella radicchio - it has such wonderful colours!  As far as I know, it is supposed to form a head but has not done so at this point (or at least is just starting to). Some of these were in a container since the summer but really weren't sizing up at all due to insufficient space.  And some were in a raised garden but only for a couple of months now (with more to come in that bed).  So it's not much but enough for a meal or two.

And I've pulled some more parsnips.  And at the bottom right of the photo, you'll see some immature rutabagas - I thought I'd see what they looked like and they are definitely not ready yet.  They haven't sized up well considering they've been in a raised bed since July - I don't have high hopes.  If they aren't big enough to make use of within the next few weeks, I might just leave them and see if they will overwinter (I suspect so, but not sure about my very cold winter temperatures).

And Mom, since you were just asking about this (does anyone else remember the mystery FrankenSquash - to coin Dave's term for it - growing out of my compost heap)?  I knew it was not a summer squash early enough on from the tough skin.

And was it ever hard ... I needed a cleaver (with a couple of drops onto the counter) to crack it open, hence the uneven split in the two halves. It resembled spaghetti squash although I had never seen (and certainly not grown) any variety with such dark green skin.  And that is exactly what it turned out to be although the flesh didn't come away quite as stringy as regular spaghetti squash.

Please stop by the Harvest Monday collection at Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners are doing this week.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Harvest Monday: November 7, 2016

Most of my "outdoor" time this past week has been cleaning out my garage so I can fit my car back into it for winter - there is nothing pleasant about scraping ice off the windshield for 4-5 months.  However, I did get around to a bit of cleanup in the yard.

First up were the jerusalem artichokes shown above.  These are planted in a space that is obviously not well suited to growing these sunchokes.  Which is good and bad.  Because they spread very easily (any piece of broken off root left in the ground will regrow), it is good that they don't grow as well as they could in a better location. But bad because they have only flowered once in the three years I've been growing them.  I really bought them only for the flowers although I do like to eat them roasted now and then.  The picture shows about half of the three pounds harvested.

And I decided to harvest all of the horseradish root that was growing in a small container.  As with the jerusalem artichokes, leaving any bit of the root will likely result in more horseradish next year as it is also a bit invasive.  I dumped the container of soil into another area of the garden so it's possible I'll find some growing next year.  I usually keep horseradish around as it is helping in staving off Colorado Potato Beetles.  I will mince it then add some vinegar and salt to preserve it.

The only other item harvested was a small bunch of spring onions while cleaning out that garden bed.  I will be heading over to Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners are doing on this Harvest Monday.