Mary's Veggie Garden

December 28, 2015

12/28/2015 Harvest Monday

Filed under: Carrots,Celeriac,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 11:29 am

December’s unseasonably warm weather has continued for another week, with new record high temperatures recorded up and down the east coast of the USA. Dec. 24 I biked in shorts. On Christmas day we took a family ride over the Walkway over the Hudson. The rail trail was almost empty but the Walkway was crowded with families enjoying the warm weather.

Returning from the Walkway, I stopped at the garden for a final harvest.  The forecast for the next week is for cold and wet, so I took advantage of the warm, cloudy day to harvest the remainder of  my celeriac.

Celeriac 7.5 pounds

Celeriac 7.5 pounds

Here’s the celeriac, after considerable trimming and scrubbing. There are two varieties, Brilliant and Large Smooth Prague. My friend Norma, at http://gardentowok.com/ started lots of Large Smooth Prague for the gardens at Locust Grove and I ended up with the extras. The leftovers were the smallest of her plants, but they were still bigger than my Brilliant plants.  Last winter was very cold and my plants got a very slow start in the basement. So the larger roots are Large Smooth Prague and the smaller ones are Brilliant.

The warm weather isn’t so good for the vegetables stored in my ‘root cellar’. I dug my carrots in early November. Bolero, a storage variety, is doing OK but the Yaya’s are growing vigorously. The Yaya variety is better for eating fresh from the garden, rather than for storing.

Yaya carrots,12/16/17 after about 7 weeks of storage

Yaya carrots on 12/26, stored about 7 weeks

The condensation on the inside of the bucket is from the carrots. Yayas are quite juicy. There is an upside down plate in the bottom of the bucket to hold the carrots out of the condensation. I trimmed the foliage from all the carrots while moving them to a dry bucket.

Bolero carrots, stored about 6 weeks

Bolero carrots on 12/28 stored, about 6 weeks.

Notice there is much less condensation in the Bolero bucket: the Boleros are not as juicy. There are also a lot fewer Boleros sprouting. Next summer I should plant fewer Yayas and probably few carrots overall.

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December 22, 2014

Broth Reconsidered

Filed under: Carrots,Celeriac,Leeks,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 10:25 am
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When I was much younger I though that making broth was a waste of perfectly good vegetables.  Why spend good money, or even worse, lots of gardening time to grow  onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and turnips,  only to boil them for hours then strain them out of the broth and discard?

It’s only in the last few years that I’ve come to appreciate broth as a way to use vegetables that should not be featured raw or as a  cooked side dish.

Ingredients for broth

Ingredients for broth

These are the vegetables that went into the stock pot with the turkey bones:

  • Leek greens. The greens are too tough to chew but they have all that good leek flavor. Scrub them well and chop across the strappy leaves.
  • Celeriac greens. These are too tough and too strong-tasting to eat raw, but they are great for flavoring broth.  Use sparingly or you might have too much celery flavor.
  • A woody turnip that had stayed in the garden too long. I carved away the insect damage and used the remainder.
  • An onion that had sprouted. It couldn’t be stored for long.
  • A yellow carrot variety whose raw flavor we don’t like.

After Thanksgiving, all the vegetables for the Turkey Soup were fresh from the garden. The vegetables for today’s broth are from my root cellar. It is wonderful to be able to gather the all vegetables needed for a meal simply by going down to the basement and ducking into the root cellar.

There is nothing like a bowl of steaming turkey-vegetable soup to warm up a winter day.

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