Mary's Veggie Garden

November 5, 2012

Carrot Harvest 2012

Filed under: Carrots,Celeriac,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:00 am
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Since our 10/13 freeze, I’m harvesting from my community garden plot about every five days: taking a big bunch of carrots, a kohlrabi, a turnip and maybe some lettuce, as it recovers from the deer attack. Thursday 10/25 was no different. I noticed my four winter cabbages ‘Storage #4’ were sizing up nicely and the biggest should come home soon. But I had the remains of another cabbage in my refrigerator so harvest could wait a few days. Cabbage keeps better as a living plant. The weather had been cloudy and drizzly most of October so outside temperatures were stuck in a tight range: 50-65° F. The temperature in my root cellar was still in the sixties so anything coming home would need to go into the refrigerator.

When we returned the next morning the big cabbage was gone.

Opening the fence I noticed it was tied with a bow, not my customary square knot. Well, it was kind of the thief to close the gate this time.

We loaded up the van with stakes and tomato cages and all the hoses. I harvested two cabbages but left the fourth, hoping with a bit more time the loose head would tighten up. I also harvested the Napa cabbage. I’d rather store the stuff  in the refrigerator than have it stolen.

Thursday 11/1 was our next trip to the garden and the first since Superstorm Sandy. We biked out for groceries. It started drizzling while we were in the store, so I decided to make the garden stop quick – just grab a few carrots and bike home.

The garden took some damage in the storm. Three (of thirteen) fence posts had snapped off at the base and were now held upright by the netting. Branches were broken off the old broccoli. And there was a carrot laying on the ground inside the gate.

Oh no, the thief was back! Even though the carrot had legs, it did not walk the 35′ across the garden without help. The bigger kohlrabi and the last cabbage were missing. I inspected the carrots and discovered the thief harvested the center row in the Napoli planting – there was a row of 6-8 holes which must have contained nice sized carrots. I planted the Napoli carrots last and hadn’t harvested a single one yet.

If I waited until late November there would be nothing left to harvest for winter storage. I spent an hour in the cold drizzle, pulling and washing carrots: 7 pounds of Bolero and 2 pounds of Napoli. Dusk was falling and I prayed the thief would not be back before I returned. Friday I harvested 8:00 – 2:00, ’till I couldn’t bend over any more. Saturday I finished the job. I also took anything else that was edible – all the celeriac, golf-ball sized turnips, kohlrabi that barely showed a bulb, and Napa cabbage that had not formed a head.

Friday harvest: 18 pounds of Napoli carrots.

More Friday harvest: 14.5 pounds Bolero carrots.

The reason so many of the Bolero carrots have legs was my poor watering at one end of the bed. I was pleased to find very little insect damage this year. Thank goodness, the temperature has finally dropped and I can store these carrots in my root cellar.

Last 2012 harvest from VF garden:  7 pounds Bolero carrots, 4.75 pounds celeriac and assorted greens.

Sunday’s harvest came from my home garden. Greens for soup and salad and parsnips and beets for meals when it’s raining/snowing later this week.

Parsnips, kale, red mustard, mache, and Lutz beets.

Total for the week:
Carrots 48.6 pounds – these ought to feed us through March!
Celeriac 4.75 pounds
Parsnips .8 pounds
Beets 1.5 pounds

Total for the year: 820 pounds.

There is not much remaining to harvest: maybe 10-15 pounds of beets and parsnips in my garden at home, plus some greens. Most of this food will stay in the garden until we need it, through the winter and even into next March.

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November 20, 2011

Fall Crops Under Snow

Filed under: Cabbage,Carrots,Celeriac,Gardening,Kohlrabi,Lettuce,Peas,Vegetables,Weather — marysveggiegarden @ 9:18 pm
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Saturday, October 29 Poughkeepsie, N.Y. received 10-12″ of heavy, wet snow.  I had many fall vegetables growing at the time. Let’s take a look to discover how they fared.

The weather had been relatively warm leading up to the storm. The first hard frost, which was a freeze of about 28 degrees, happened only a couple of days before the snow.

All the snow pictures which follow were taken Tuesday, 11/1. Although the temperatures were back up in the 50’s, it was taking time to melt all that snow.

Snap Peas 

Snap Peas 'Cascadia'

The snap peas, a variety called Cascadia, did not survive the snow. I follow the weather forecast closely when waiting for the first frost, so I’d harvested a gallon bag of snap peas 3 days before the snow. We were still enjoying those snap peas two weeks later when I removed the dying plants.

Lettuce

Lettuce 'Sierra'

The lettuce is a red-edged Batavia type called Sierra. The outer leaves in this picture are translucent from freezing, and the edges are turning brown and dry. But I don’t give up easily. I harvested the lettuce, stripped off the outer leaves, trimmed away the top edge of some inner leaves and found a crisp, tasty head within.

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbages ‘Optiko’

The outer leaves of the cabbages are just starting to melt out of the snow. Since taking the picture I’ve harvested two of these cabbages. The splayed out leaves emerging from the snow started turning brown (rotting) after two weeks. After I cleaned up the head the center was crisp and mild.

Cleaned up for eating, two weeks after the snow storm.

Broccoli

Broccoli in the snow

The broccoli didn’t fare very well. The leaves were frost ‘bleached’. The heads were still edible, but the texture was somewhat flexible and rubbery instead of crispy.

Celeriac and Carrots

Celeriac

Scallions (left) & carrots (right, under the snow)

Because the ground was still warm the snow had no effect on the root vegetables. The carrot foliage was unharmed. Although the celeriac root (the part that is eaten) was well mulched and thus unaffected, it’s leaves and stalks were destroyed by the snow. In the last week it’s started growing new leaves.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi 'Kolibri'

I had 3 varieties of kohlrabi growing. Although some of the leaves were freeze ‘bleached’  the bulb part (actually a swollen stem) is still good, and they are putting out new leaves.

Harvest this week:

I’m harvesting everything remaining in my community garden plot, because the fences must be removed by Nov. 28, just before the ground often freezes.

Carrots ‘Bolero’  – 28 pounds

Carrots Red Cored Chantenay – 7.5 pounds

Celeraic – 3, around 1.75 pounds

Napa cabbage – 1 @ 2# 2oz.

Kohlrabi – 1# 6 oz.

Nine pounds of Bolero carrots, cleaned up and drying for storage.

3 Celeriac in all their rooty glory.

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