The fall garden is still giving us plenty to eat this year, even after several nights with the low temps dipping into the teens. The growth of everything has pretty much slowed to a crawl, but that’s to be expected with the combination of short days and cold temperatures.
These komatsuna greens were growing unprotected in the main garden, right next to the kale and collards. So far they have survived the cold just fine. This is the first time I’ve grown them this late in the season. They’ve certainly earned a place in our future cold-weather plantings, since they are fairly hardy as well as quick and easy to grow. They will be tasty stir-fried or added to soup.
Their taste is hard to describe. Young plants are mild flavored, but the flavor gets stronger as the plants mature. They are also called spinach mustard, so that should give a clue to the taste. We like them, and they certainly add some variety to our selection of greens. They are popular in Japan, Taiwan and Korea, and the leaves are rich in calcium. Their growth habit is upright, much like pak choi, but with thinner stems.
This Deadon cabbage head is a bit small yet, but I harvested it anyway. It was also growing unprotected. It’s almost too pretty to eat, but eat it we will.
And this trio of leaf lettuces was growing in the cold frame, with the lid covered only in spunbonded row cover material. On the coldest nights I threw a blanket over it as well, but there’s no glass or plastic on it (yet). The varieties here are Merlot, Multy and Berenice.
Lately we’ve been eating a lot of the 2009 harvest from the freezer and root cellar. There’s still plenty of fresh edibles though in the various gardens, including lettuce, radicchio, escarole, pac choi, tatsoi, parsley, cilantro, par-cel cutting celery, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and collards. With any luck (and some careful planning) we will continue to have fresh food year round here at Happy Acres. For that and for many other reasons, we are so very blessed.