"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Monday, November 7, 2011

Garden In Transition

The last of the root veggies have been put away and are snug as a bug in a rug.

Carrots are layered in coolers,

parsnips in totes

and endive in pots.

The summer garden has been put to rest, all covered in frosted leaves, weeds, and debris...but the winter gardening season has just begun.

39 comments:

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Looks like a good supply of carrots there and the other veggie I'm not too familiar with cooking ;o( I think you have done pretty good..I didn't get to getting a cover for my winter hoop house :o( illness got me first , and sucked up my energy..

Ohiofarmgirl said...

those hoops are spectacular! great work!

Dani said...

What is growing in your winter garden...?

Can't imagine working in your frozen soil - actually, it's probably similar to working in our sun baked ground LOL

cathy@home said...

A lovely crop of root vegetables Looking forward to the next instalment.

Julie said...

Your garden is transitioning very gracefully, it appears. We are transitioning here, too, but taking a little different direction. Nice Carrots!!

Mark Willis said...

I'm interested that you grow parsnips (one of my favourite veg). My perception is that they are not much grown or appreciated in the US. Do you think this is true?

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I always enjoy looking at how you store them so well for until next harvest use. I always found that harvesting, preserving and storing takes the most time in growing food.

Mr. H. said...

Ginny - Parsnips are a wonderful vegetable, you will have to try growing a few of them one of these days. You have some pretty cold hardy greens going with all that cabbage and hybrids thereof...hopfully they will see you through the cold months.

Ohio - Thanks, with any luck they will keep us in fresh greens throughout the winter.

Dani - This year we have various kale, Italian chicory, turnip greens, spinach, and parsley growing under the winter hoops. But yes, us colder climate gardeners can be a bit weird at times...sometimes we even start planting when there is still snow on the ground.:)

Cathy - I think my next post is going to be a video of somewhere warm.:)

Julie - I think I would prefer your direction of transition.

Mark - One of my favorites as well. You are right though, this does not seem to be the most popular veggie in the U.S. I am not sure why this is as the parsnip is such a fabulous vegetable to work with in the kitchen lending itself to a wide array of dishes.

Malay-Kadazan girl - It is indeed a bit of work but in the end, during the cold of winter, it is so nice to simply walk downstairs and pick my veggies out of totes...just like going to the grocery store.:)

You Can Call Me Jane said...

It's been too long since I've visited here! Your carrots looks stunning. We put a lot more sand in our carrot bed this year and they did well, but by the end of the season, many had small holes in them and were turned into carrot soup because we knew storing wouldn't go so well. We're just going to leave the storing of carrots to you all, okay:-).

Dave said...

Looks like you are a bit ahead of us in winter preparations, but then I guess winter starts a little earlier there. We are expecting our first hard freeze this week.

My endive is growing so nicely I almost hate to dig it up, but I will. I'm trying to let it grow as long as possible to get some nice big roots.

Kumi said...

Those are some great-looking carrots! I planted some but ended up with really skinny ones.. I'll have to work on the soil next year!

Buttons said...

You are so clever. I love reading your green thumb posts. B

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Lovely harvest and well done for being so organised with your storage! How long did it take for you to develop your system(s)?

Kim said...

I have read all your previous posts on winter gardening but I would love to hear more if you have time this year. One of these days soon I will tackle a winter garden.
We are near Idaho Falls now, zone 4/5 I think. Any recommendations of fail proof (lol) winter vegetables to try?

Amish Stories said...

I'm spending a little time checking out new blogs, so i thought id stop and say hello to you folks. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon Pennsylvania.

Bee Girl said...

How fantastic to have so much to put up! How inspiring!

Liz said...

Bee Girl's right - it is inspiring. I'm wondering what you use the endive roots for?

kitsapFG said...

The storage containers of root crops is such a convenience when the ground is hard as a rock. I leave my carrots and parsnips in the ground during the winter because our period of hard freezes is very short each year, but there is a period of time where digging is not a good option and having them already dug up would be very handy. The grow tunnels look amazing. You have several that I can see, which must provide alot of fresh fare through the winter months.

Mr. H. said...

Jane - I will store some extra up for you, just in case you and Mavis decide to stop in for carrrot salad one of these years.:) Hope you are enjoying the fall weather and don't give up on carrots, it wasn't until I hit upon the right varieties that they have done well for us...Danvers, nantes, chatenay , and touchstone Gold mostly.

Dave - Yes, we had our first hard frost on the 24th of october, which is actually a bit late so that was nice but it has been in the low 20°'s quite a few times during the nights now...brr.

Hope you have nice big roots on your endive, ours did OK this year but I did end up leaving a good amount of the smaller ones in the garden where they can over winter and provide us with some spring greens.

Kumi - Luckily I planted a lot of carrots this year because a fair percentage of ours were really small too...I think this seasons cold nights really slowed down the development of our root veggies.

Buttons - Did you detect a hint of rhyme in this post?:)

Tanya - I would say that we have only felt confident in our ability to store all these veggies for four, maybe five years now, before that there was a lot of trial and error and still is with a few veggies.

Kim - I plan to do a post in the near future about our winter garden and will post a list of the cold hardy plants at that time. Some of the very best plants for a winter garden are herbs like thyme, oregano, parsley, and greens like kale, spinach, corn mache, turnips for greens are really hardy, and certain varieties of endive/chicory can do quite well.

Hope you do try this, it gives one a good excuse to get outside during the cold months.:) Also, take a look at Niki Jabbour's blog, she focuses a lot on winter veggies in a climate similar to yours and mine. - http://yearroundveggiegardener.blogspot.com/

Richard - Hello, thanks for stopping in for a visit...I will have to stop by and check your blog out as well.:)

Bee Girl - It is a bit of work but well worth the effort when one wants fresh homegrown produce in the middle of winter.:)

Liz - Thanks, during the winter we take the pots of endive upstairs where they regrow and provide us with greens for salads and stir fry dishes. The roots can also be eaten or dried and used as a flavoring or substitute for coffee.

Mr. H. said...

Laura - We went all out with the tunnels this year and have six of them altogether...should keep me plenty busy shoveling snow this winter. I hope to do a post on what's growing in them soon. Stay warm...or in your case stay dry and warm.:)

Elizabeth said...

when I was making homemade babyfood for our children I would always try and puree parsnips with their carrots--yummy!!
As usual all of your hard work looks amazing! You are blessed.
Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth

Leigh said...

I hope my garden looks like yours when it grows up! :)

Lrong said...

Impressive, impressive... as always, I take my hat off for you, my friend...

Mr. H. said...

Elizabeth - Parsnips and carrots pureed together sounds like something I would like too.:)

Leigh - I'm sure it will be much better...if it isn't already.:)

Lrong - And I to you, for all those wonderful plants you grow that I cannot.:)

Kevin Kossowan said...

Coolers are a good idea - do the handles hold up to the weight okay? I'm guessing so, or you wouldn't use them.

Root veg rocks.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey! am i sore? are you KIDDING? i think we did 5 ton today. i'm about to pass out. check in tomorrow for an update.
;-)

Mr. H. said...

Kevin - The coolers work great, so far no broken handles and it makes it a lot easier to drag them around. Also, especially with beets, carrots, and parsnips, keeping the lid shut or just open a little bit helps me control humidity.

Ohio - That's a lot of gravel!

Norma Chang said...

Glad I stumbled upon your blog. I have never over winter my root vegetables in container so hope you do not mind my dumb questions.
Is it sand under the carrots and parsnips?
Do you deep the sand(?) damp?
Do you multi layer?
Where do you keep the containers?

Mr. H. said...

Norma - I love questions.:) Yes, the carrots and parsnips are layered in sandy soil that is slightly damp but not too damp. Each cooler or tote contains approximately four layers of vegetables seperated with sand and they are stored in our rootcellar at temperatures ranging between 35 and 45°F.

The root cellar is our basement, we are lucky to live in an early 1900's cottage type house with a large underground cement basement that stays fairly cool year around.

Angela said...

Awesome! I get so inspired when I see your gardens.

Mr. H. said...

Angela - Thanks.:)

Silke said...

I LOVE root veggies - could eat them all the time! Yours look wonderful! Has winter already arrived? Here, it's a lovely 60 degrees today - somewhat cold for us. :)

Did you get my e-mail yesterday? I'm not sure if they reach you...

:) Silke

Mr. H. said...

Silke- Just sent you an email. It has been cold here, down to 14° the other day and we are getting a good amount of snow too...brr. Winter is here in all of it's glory, I'm willing to face it but certainly not embrace it.:)

LynnS said...

Those root veggies look great, all snug and packed away for a Winter's use. I especially enjoy cooking them, then mashing them into a thick veggie soup base. We had 2 inches of rain last evening and now high winds. Glad I don't have to cook the turkey outside! ;-) Have a happy, wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mr. H. said...

Lynn - Happy Thanksgiving...rainy and windy here too, all the snow is melting. Enjoy your day.

Ms. Adventuress said...

Lovely! The carrots make me want them, so pretty! We should see multi-colored carrots everywhere we go. I can't wait to see what's happening next! ♥

Mr. H. said...

Ms. Adventuress - Yeah, what's up with the stores only selling orange carrots...we want the full spectrum of colors.:)

Greenside Up said...

Ditto all the carrot comments, they look fabulous. Ours haven't fared so well this year - a mixture of weather & cattle breaking in and trample our beds!

Mr. H. said...

Greensideup - Yikes, cattle in the carrrot patch can never turn out well. Next year will be better.

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