Monday, February 6, 2012
A great day in the garden!
It has been way too long since I spent any time in the garden. Towards the end of last week my sister called and said we really needed to do some harvesting. We didn't have tons of broccoli but you can see some of it is flowering. It is still edible but not quite as good as if we had picked it last week. We harvested about a quart of broccoli. Most of it looked better than this.
Winter gardens are the best. They provide all these lovely vegetables without quite so much work! Early in the season there is tons of work, but we can now just go every now and then and pick vegetables -- maybe occasionally throw out some fertilizer. It's great because there are not many pests. The electric fence keeps the four-legged pests out and the cooler temps encourage the bugs to hibernate. We took the time to mulch when we planted to keep any cool-weather weeds under control. That all means less work and less stress
Our Brussels sprouts are doing well. I am hoping they will continue to add sprouts as they grow taller and taller. We could have sprouts until the weather warms in late spring. We picked about a gallon and the plants still look hearty so I think we will have more.
We still have some beautiful collards. It looks like the insects are more interested in the outside leaves -- that is very good. The inside leaves are the best.
Our mustard has gone to seed and it is providing some nice color. We did see some honey bees on the mustard blooms and that is exciting because honey bees have been scarce in the past couple of years. Seeing them now is very encouraging and I hope the bee population makes a comeback in the spring. That is one reason we are leaving our flowering plants. We want them to make a "beeline" to our garden all year to pollinate our blooms.
And the best surprise we had were some really beautiful turnips. Some were the size of apples. Last year I baked my harvested turnips with garlic and they were delicious -- so much so that I will bake these the same way. We have already picked double the amount as last year and they are much larger, probably because I bought Purple tops and they are supposed to grow nice and big. We didn't pick them all so hopefully they will continue to grow and we will have a second harvest by spring.
My sister and I decided that it was fantastic to be back in the garden, especially since we could harvest so many tasty treats.