Mary's Veggie Garden

December 3, 2012

Harvest Monday 12/3/2012

Filed under: Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 7:43 am

I harvested twice this week: collards and beets for a vegetable soup on Thursday, and mache, kale, sorrel and parsley for a salad Sunday. I should harvest more salads, but I’m not motivated to harvest when the temperature outside is just above freezing.

Instead of showing more beets and greens, the pictures this week show my garden. Winter is threatening, but not quite here. For the last two weeks it’s been above freezing every day though sometimes just barely. At night the temperature has been reaching the low to mid twenties (Fahrenheit).

The collards are surprising freeze tolerant.

The collards are surprising freeze tolerant.

I’m finally harvesting collards now that there is not much of anything else. They are an experiment; I don’t know how much cold they can take, but so far they are OK.

My tiny patch of Lutz beets.

My tiny patch of Lutz beets.

The beets are mulched with shredded leaves to prevent freezing. The roots are sweet and some of the greens are still edible.

Parsnips, also mulched with shredded leaves.

Parsnips, also mulched with shredded leaves.

Winterbor Kale and Red Giant Mustard

Winterbor Kale and Red Giant Mustard

This Winterbor kale was transplanted into the garden in mid to late August. It didn’t grow very well in this shady area, but it is providing a few leaves for salads. Winterbor often survives the winter, so maybe I’ll have some spring greens.

The mustard is all volunteer plants. It’s been sprouting since September. It’s a bit too cold for the mustard; some of the leaves are frost burned.

Volunteer mache.

Volunteer mache, more kale & mustard.

The mache is all volunteer plants from plants that went to seed last spring. It started sprouting early this fall and more will sprout next spring. The plants would be bigger if I thinned them; instead I just harvest the biggest for salads.

This isn’t much, but it supplements the summer crops stored in the root cellar, the basement and the freezer.


  1. Collards and beets in a soup? That sounds wonderful! I have the greens but not the beets in my garden. Could you share that recipe?

    Comment by pooks — December 3, 2012 @ 8:05 am | Reply

    • The recipe is Jane Brody’s Three “C” Soup. It is already out on the web. I source the soup from the garden and root cellar with substitutions: this time it was collards for cabbage and celeriac instead of celery.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — December 3, 2012 @ 10:44 am | Reply

      • Thanks. I’m going after it. I have mustard greens and organic golden beets (purchased) here right now! Thanks!

        Comment by pooks — December 3, 2012 @ 11:12 am

  2. I don’t know how much cold collards can take, either. I do know they can take some. How are you liking them? They are a very popular crop down here in Mobile, Alabama, but I haven’t tried to grow them yet.

    Comment by crafty_cristy — December 3, 2012 @ 8:52 am | Reply

    • Collards are popular in the community gardens in NYS too, anyone with a southern food tradition grows vast quantities. Collards have all the same problems as other brassicas like cabbage and kale, including imported cabbage worms. I first experienced collards when I worked in Raleigh where the cafeteria boiled them for hours. It turns out collards are just fine with only a few minutes cooking.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — December 3, 2012 @ 10:34 am | Reply

      • My grandparents always said collards tasted best after the first frost, that the frost brought out their flavor. My grandfather also taught me that if tender plants got frost on them, just gently rinse them off with water and they’d be okay. It works–if you get out there early enough to do it.

        Comment by pooks — December 3, 2012 @ 10:36 am

      • With nightly freezes, it’s a test to see how well they survive without my help.

        Comment by marysveggiegarden — December 3, 2012 @ 10:48 am

  3. Your winter crops are looking good. It’s amazing how hardy kale and collards can be. My spinach is still hanging in there but looking rather rough. I shall switch to mostly kale soon but I am waiting until I absolutely must because then until spring that is about all the green that we get from the winter garden.

    Comment by kitsapfg — December 3, 2012 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  4. Lovely variety of greens. Collards are very frost tolerant.

    Comment by Norma Chang — December 3, 2012 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  5. Your garden looks like it is hunkering down in response to the cold, even if it isn’t really winter yet! Good luck with getting your collards through the season. I bet they are rather tasty now.

    Comment by Michelle — December 3, 2012 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  6. Hey, if you have root crops stored away already these greens are a great bonus! They look just fine. 🙂

    Comment by Barbie — December 3, 2012 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

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