Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 gardening: more tough love

Saturday night, we finally got enough rain to break in my new rain gauges, a little more than half an inch. It arrived just in time to offer some protection against the past two nights' hard freezes. Something about these two weather events solidified my resolve to practice more tough love, especially in our lawnless front yard, which is filled with established drought-tolerant plants. If the indigo spires are droopy and thirsty, so be it. They'll bounce back if/when it rains.

However, I've had a more difficult time being tough with my vegetable garden, but now I can see that the vegetables will probably be fine with a little less water and a little less complete coverage in freezes. Not sure if this is apathy or wisdom, but I just don't care much if I lose some plants because of some neglect on my part.

I Harvested tiny broccoli crowns, cauliflower, parsely, cilantro, and two types of kale before the freeze.
I covered most of the potted plants, the beet seedlings, garlic, and lettuces but left the broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and carrots uncovered.
New ponytail palm! I bought two new peace lilies and a "Fabian" aralia, too.
I've become a little obsessed lately experimenting with incorporating my homegrown greens and herbs into soups. Yesterday I made up a cauliflower sweet potato soup with lots of cilantro. It was hearty and tangy, a success. It's still very cold today to this cold-wimp Texan, so I'm headed to the kitchen now to make free-range bison chili from Thunder Heart Bison .

12 comments:

Marc O. said...

Curious to know how your vegetable seedlings do without the covers. Been fretting that myself, though mine are covered and have warm water near them. Would be nice to know if they can stay uncovered next time.

Iris said...

Marc O.--Only my beets (second seeding for this fall/winter) are seedlings, and I did cover them. All the other vegetable plants are fairly mature, but I still covered everything but the cauli, brocc, kale, and carrots because had read those could handle it. They looked okay when I checked on them an hour ago.

Elissa Sexton said...

Nice bounty! I have the same sentiment as you, I can't save them all. The last freeze I didn't cover my seedlings because we were out of town and they definitely suffered.

I missed you at the farm today! Quite a few brave soles came out to Boggy this morning. While I was ringing customers up ice was falling off the veggies and not melting once it hit the table. It was below freezing the entire time I was there, I can still feel the burn in my toes!

Iris said...

Elissa--Thanks! You're such a trouper to brave the cold today at Boggy! Hubs' car is in the shop & he needed mine for meetings today, so I had a good excuse to stay home. BUT, I missed y'all! See you next week.

Beyond My Garden said...

It is inevitable for the creative gardener to become the creative cook.

katina said...

What type is the cauliflower? I don't know why I ask these questions--probably because I like GROWING things, just not necessarily EATING them. :)

Iris said...

BeyondMyGarden--Thanks, and I agree!

katina--It's "Chef's Choice Blend" from Botanical Interests seeds. Have you tried roasting cauliflower florets w/a little olive oil, salt, and cumin? Much tastier than steamed.

Kathleen Scott said...

Your vegetables are gorgeous.

I'm with you--covering less and if it doesn't make it, I'll plant something different.

Thunder Heart now comes to the New Braunfels Farmer's Market, which I make it to every few weeks, and I made a bison killer stew--lots of red wine, garlic, thyme, rosemary & onions cooked for hours before adding vegetables. Great with a glass of red wine on a cold day.

Iris said...

Kathleen--Thanks! Your bison stew sounds delicious. I'm so happy Thunder Heart is available at the New Braunfels' Farmers Market now. I have such respect for them. I, too, use lots of red wine, onion, and garlic in my bison soup/chili/stews and switch up the herbs.

Lancashire rose said...

That sure was a lovely bowl of greens and purples. I tried one cauliflower plant and it has done absolutely nothing and of course all the broc. was eaten by the ring tailed cat. I just have 3 other plants that were under cover and survived. Hope they will be ready to pick soon.

Iris said...

Lancashire rose--Thanks! I was grateful for those pretty greens and purples. My cauliflower plants are tall and leafy--going to try incorporating the leaves into a soup tomorrow--but producing very little actual cauliflower. Oh well, I'll work w/the greens. Sorry about your ring-tailed cat damage!

Marc O. said...

That last freeze looks positively balmy compared to this one today!