Today I want to show what’s growing out in the vegetable garden in early January. So far we have had a fairly mild winter here, with no snow, ample rain and a bit warmer than usual temperatures. With those conditions, the cold hardy vegetables are still going strong in the garden. A few weeds are growing too, though not enough to get me out there to deal with them. I am in the process of putting away all the folding cages I use for peppers and eggplants, but I have no place to store the larger remesh tomato cages so they stay out in the garden all winter. And I have been spreading a bit of compost on the bed where I plant to grow brassicas this spring.
I have quite a few collards planted in two beds, and we have been eating on them for several months now. The plants are holding up well, and should give us greens throughout the winter months. The quality of the leaves will be very much dependent on the weather of course.
Several of the cabbage collards are starting to form small heads at the top of the plants. Cabbage collards tend to have somewhat thinner leaves, and have a milder flavor than most other collards. One plant of White Mountain Cabbage has developed variegation on the terminal growth, which is the first time I’ve seen that on this variety. Whaley’s Favorite Cabbage is one I’m growing for the first time, and it is heading up now too.
I have both turnip greens and turnips planted, and we have been eating them often. They don’t usually make it through the winter here, so I plan to harvest and freeze some of them for later use. I’m growing Topper and All-Top and both are doing quite well.
Turnbroc is a new green I tried this year and it is still going strong too. The plants are not as tall as Topper and All-Top, but the plants are dense with tender and mild tasting leaves.
There are still a few more baby Hakurei turnips to be pulled as well. I sometimes add a few of these baby turnips in with the other turnip greens that I braise. Hakurei is the only turnip I grew for the fall planting.
I’m growing several collards with blue/purple leaves, and they have colored up nicely. I’ve grown Alabama Blue for several years now, and I’m growing another heirloom called Nancy Malone Wheat Purple for the first time. I think both have flavorful and tender leaves, and the purple colors indicate the presence of anthocyanins which add to the already nutritious qualities of collard greens.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of our garden in January. I hope to be back soon with a look at what I plan to grow here in 2022. And as a reminder, Harvest Monday starts back on February 1.