December Greens

This post is being written at the request of Marie, my wife, because it struck her last weekend while she was making up our usual Saturday night pizza and salad that she still had most of what she needed for both without having to go through the produce department at the supermarket – except for mushrooms.

And it’s December!

Thanks to the hoop houses I built a while back, we are still harvesting lettuce, spinach, onions, carrots, chard, and in the herb bed I’ve got garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme and sage going strong.I dug up a basil plant and took it inside and we’re still getting fresh basil as Marie needs it.

Admittedly, the cold temperatures slow things down; I harvest once a week now instead of every day, but that just means we eat it as it comes instead of canning or freezing most of what I pick.

A week ago Marie made up a batch of black bean chili, all of which came from the garden.Dried black beans, home-canned tomatoes, frozen jalapenos, dried cayenne, fresh onion, only the ground turkey had to be bought.

It just impressed her as being a wonderful thing to have so much free food at the ready when she wants it, especially at this time of year.

To keep fresh veggies growing, I have to start seeds in my indoor greenhouse; the ground is too cold for seeds to germinate, but once they’ve sprouted and gotten a little size to them I can put them out into by garden boxes with hoop houses over them and they will continue to grow – slowly – all winter long.Of course not everything I grew in the summer will grow in winter; I’ve selected cold-hardy greens and root crops for the winter garden.

With a little planning I’ll be able to keep an assortment of garden fresh vegetables coming onto our dinner table year round.That’s pretty cool!

Published on Dec 21, 2011

Grit Magazine

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