Mary's Veggie Garden

January 25, 2016

Future Harvests

Filed under: Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 5:28 pm
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First, a quick follow-up from last week. The final Kolibri Kohlrabi, pictured last week, was harvested Wednesday when the temperature was just above freezing. It felt hard (probably mostly frozen) but smelled a bit funky. After it finished thawing it was mushy & stinky and went straight to the trash.  So, although one kohlrabi was good after several 20° F nights, temperatures down around 10° F ruined the last one.

Many of you heard about the winter storm that shut down the east coast over the weekend. The edge of that storm was somewhere in the 60 miles between NYC and us. We received only a few flakes of snow.

I’ve almost finished seed shopping and now it’s time to figure out quantities and lay out the gardens on paper.

Here are the varieties planned for this year. Many are tried and proven in my garden and kitchen. Several are new – chosen for flavor or adventure of trying something new.

Beans: Rattlesnake pole beans for eating as green beans; Jacob’s Cattle and Tigers Eye dried beans; Tohya edamame soy bean.

Beets: Red Ace, an old favorite, and Avalanche, a new white beet and an AAS.

Broccoli: Green Magic. I grew it in 2015 for the first time. Heads averaged .75 pound and the petite plants produced generous side shoots.

Cabbage: Early Jersey Wakefield, Ruby Perfection

Asian greens: Win-Win choi, Minuet Chinese cabbage, both new,and tatsoi

Carrots: Yaya for summer eating, Bolero for root cellaring & winter eating, Deep Purple (new).

Celeriac: Brilliant and Large Smooth Prague

Chard: Bright Lights

Corn: Honey Select

Cucumbers: Salt&Pepper and Summer Dance

Garlic: Chesnok Red, German White, Music

Kale: Winterbor

Kohlrabi: Kolibri

Lettuce: Cimmaron, Two Star Loose Leaf, Pinetree mix, Carioca summer crisp (new)

Onions: Cabernet and Copra; Nabechan bunching onions (new)

Parsnips: Hollow Crown

Peas: Cascadia snap peas, Snowbird snow peas

Sweet Peppers: Carmen red bull’s horn, Escamillo (new orange bull’s horn, AAS), Intruder bell,

Hot Peppers: Highlander, very productive and only mildly hot.

Potatoes: Russian Banana fingerling, Yukon gold, Russet Burbank

Radish: Cherry Belle & Easter Egg salad radishes; Red Meat and Green Meat  specialty radishes

Spinach: Kookaburra (new). I’m trying a variety resistant to downey mildew, which afflicts some varieties in the community gardens.

Summer Squash: Striata d’Italia (new)

Winter Squash: Metro Butternut, Watham Butternut, Futsu Black, Tetsukabuto.

Sweet Potato: Korean Purple, Purple, and new to me varieties Allgold, Heartogold, Garnet & Crystal White. I’m looking to replace my Georgia Jets with a high yielding orange variety that doesn’t crack and fissure.

Tomatoes: Jasper, Sungold, Garden Gem (new), Garden Treasure (new)

Turnip: Hakurei (new)

January 18, 2016

Surprise Harvest: Kohlrabi in Winter

Filed under: Kohlrabi,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 11:46 am
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At the start of winter two Kolibri kohlrabi remained in my garden. Both were transplanted into the garden last spring on 4/28. They were still small when the summer vegetables started producing, so I ignored them, figuring they would never amount to anything. Both were in partly shaded areas of the garden and they continued to grow slowly. Eventually one split.

In the first days of January, on one of the many warm days we’ve enjoyed this winter, I did some garden cleanup. The forecast predicted overnight lows around 10°F so I thinned and pruned the raspberries before the ground froze.

That’s when I noticed the kohlrabi. Thinking it would be tough & stringy, I was tempted to throw it in the wheelbarrow with the raspberry prunings. At least it wasn’t mush, even though it had experienced several nights with low temperatures around 20°F.

I decided to give one kohlrabi a try and it was a pleasant surprise. The flesh was white and tender. It was a bit fibrous at the base, but that is normal where the bulb turns into the stem.

I cooked the kohlrabi with carrots and onions from my root cellar using this simple recipe: https://marysveggiegarden.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/braised-carrots-and-kohlrabi/ .

Lesson learned: a mature Kolibri kohlrabi can survive temperatures down to 20° F. This is a surprise because  I’ve seen a late spring freeze of 28°F kill kohlrabi transplants that had already been in the garden a couple of weeks.

My ultimate Kolibri kohlrabi.

My ultimate Kolibri kohlrabi. It looks pretty good considering it’s been almost 9 months in the garden.

The second kohlrabi is still in the garden. It’s experienced several nights around 10° F. I’ll harvest it on Wednesday, the next time the temperature will be above freezing and it can thaw naturally before harvest. I wonder how it will be? Will the additional 10° F of cold make a difference in the eating quality?

1/23 update: I harvested the final kohlrabi last Wednesday, when the temperature had been slightly above freezing for several hours.  It was hard and looked icy. I think it was at least half frozen.  It smelled a bit funky.  I bagged it and placed it in the refrigerator to thaw. After thawing, it was very soft and smelled worse. It went into the trash. It did not survive several 10° F nights.

 

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