Mary's Veggie Garden

December 9, 2013

December Garden

Filed under: Kale,Kohlrabi,Leeks,Parsnips,Spinach,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:50 am
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I went out to mulch before the temperatures dropped into the deep freeze and discovered I should harvest first. Here’s my garden at home on Dec. 4, before harvest and mulching.

Spinach and kale.

Spinach and kale.

I cheated with the spinach: bought a 4-pack of transplants because I wanted the experience of transplanting spinach, and because I hadn’t gotten around to sowing my seed yet. The pack was crowded with plants. I was very careful separating them, but still managed to destroy the roots of half-a-dozen plants. You see the rest here. They grew but not vigorously. I’ve harvested leaves several times to add to salads.

I planted the kale last spring. It is quite ragged because of a massive caterpillar infestation in the fall. I should have ID’ed them when I found them.They were definitely not imported cabbage worms.

Leeks and bunching onions.

Leeks and bunching onions.

In the foreground we see a few bunching onions and, in the middle, a lot of leeks. The white post holds a bird house (the upside-down pot is a squirrel guard.) The parsnips are next to the post. I was standing inches from that post, adding mulch to the parsnips, when a bird flew out of the bird house. The house sparrows are using the bird house to stay cozy in the cold.

Parsnips, beets, and parsley

Parsnips, beets, and parsley

The parsnips are at the top and parsley at the bottom. The beets, in the middle, are tiny and invisible under the mulch. The red leaves are self-sown mustard plants.

A tiny salad: the last lettuce, spinach, 2 bunching onions, a leek, watermelon radishes,, sorrel & a kale leaf.

A tiny salad: the last lettuce, spinach, 2 bunching onions, a leek, watermelon radishes, parsley, sorrel & a kale leaf.

The watermelon radishes grown at home are a quarter the size of those from my community garden plot. The difference is sun, lots of sun.

Heartier fare: parsnips and Lutz beets

Heartier fare: parsnips and Lutz beets

Just before Thanksgiving, I closed down my garden in the community plots. The last harvest included five pounds of celeriac and this weird kohlrabi.



Siamese twin kohlrabi.

Siamese twin kohlrabi.

The variety is Early Vienna. In all my years of growing kohlrabi, this is the first time I’ve seen one of these.


  1. This is a wild looking kohlrabi! I’ve seen lopsided ones before, but never a twin. It made for a double harvest though!

    Comment by Dave — December 9, 2013 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  2. I wonder if some insect nipped off the top and they grew out the side. Very strange.

    Comment by Daphne — December 9, 2013 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

    • I don’t know the cause. The funny thing is the week before I found the double kohlrabi someone else asked me about the same thing. Turns out she was growing the same variety.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — December 9, 2013 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  3. Lovely harvest there. Tell me, I am new to many veggies because I was so picky as a child. There are many that I have never tasted or have grown. What do parsnips taste like? They look like carrots. I have never tried any root veggie except carrots..

    Comment by karrie j. — December 9, 2013 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

    • Parsnips are related to carrots which is why they look similar. The texture is different, much softer & not as dense or juicy. The taste is also different, sharper. Find one in a market, if you can. I don’t know how good parsnips grown in Hawaii would taste, as they sweeten up after a frost.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — December 9, 2013 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

      • Thank you. This is helpful. I will look in our commissary the next time I am there. A lot is shipped here to give us a variety of veggies. I will also do some googling.

        Comment by karrie j. — December 9, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

  4. I bet that Celeriac was hard to prepare in the kitchen! (and the parsnips too). Makes you realise how artificial some of the stuff you see in shops is! Who needs straight parsnips, after all??

    Comment by Mark Willis — December 15, 2013 @ 10:43 am | Reply

    • I do wonder if Celeriac doesn’t like our clay soil. The variety I grow, “Brilliant”, is for commercial production. I store them with the roots shown in the photo, but trim the roots before cooking. The roots go into the worm bin.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — December 15, 2013 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

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