Friday, January 29, 2010

finally, broccoli and cauliflower emerge

I'm not really expecting big heads of broccoli or cauliflower from my five plants, but I am pleased to see these little (approximately 2-inch diameter) buds! Plus we can eat the broccoli leaves even if no more heads emerge. Maybe I'll only plant one broccoli and one cauliflower next fall because I've never had great luck with either, and they take lots of room. I think I'd rather use that space for more dinosaur kale and swiss chard.

purple cauliflower! Its innards are white, though.

After more than a week of very mild temperatures, we're drizzly and cold again here with hard freezes predicted for tonight and tomorrow night. I covered all the vegetables an hour ago and moved some potted plants into the shed. What little room I have inside I saved for my potted bay and thyme. I suppose I better get used to this routine. Stay warm, y'all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

vegetable harvest surprises

Yesterday afternoon I headed out to the vegetable garden to resume my long-neglected weeding tasks but got distracted (funny how easily that happens when one's supposed to be weeding) by what appeared to be baby sorrel. I'd seeded some sorrel in that area quite awhile ago and never saw any results and pretty much forgot about it. I tore off a tiny leaf and tasted it: yep, definitely sorrel--cool!

To me, sorrel tastes like a tangier, more lemony, more delicate version of baby spinach and is really good in an omelette with a little chevre or cream cheese.

I also harvested some beets, dinosaur kale, swiss chard, and more cartoon carrots. And although I harvested virtually all my lettuces before our recent hard freezes, the leaf lettuces I covered managed just fine.

That flat leaf parsley plant with the leaf lettuces is at least two feet by two feet. No complaints here!

Friday, January 15, 2010

garden bloggers' bloom day

Considering last week's hard freezes, I was afraid I'd have to resort to drawing a picture of a bloom today, but my efforts to relocate pots and cover plants paid off, for the most part. Good thing I like pansies. Check out other garden bloggers' blooms at May Dreams Gardens--thanks again to Carol for hosting!

miniature rose, 'Red Cascade'

one lone marigold

Thursday, January 7, 2010

hello 2010: lots and lots of lettuce!

For the next couple of days, Austin will be lucky to see temperatures climb above freezing, with lows predicted in the upper teens. Yesterday I lugged a dozen potted plants into the somewhat breezy shed, figuring that provided slightly more protection than leaving them outside covered with a sheet.

I made room in our unheated little mudroom for a few of my favorite potted plants, but I had to make even more room for lettuce. I harvested ALL the lettuce, kale, and chard so it wouldn't turn to mush tonight.

Although I gave some lettuce to neighbors and stuffed as much as I could into our refrigerator, my biggest stock pot, a champagne bucket, and a big salad-spinner bowl are still overflowing with lettuces and greens. So I'm going to spend the next few hours making a spicy kale-chard-sweet potato soup and my first lettuce soup. And big Caesar salads, of course.

I harvested just a few carrots because the rest are likely to survive the hard freeze, plus I covered them.