|Kale, cabbage and broccoli under cover|
We had no snow pack this winter and temperatures near the 90s in mid-March, which ruined our maple syrup crop. That was just too much of a teaser not to move things up even further, raising the stakes. To give you an idea, it's tradition in our region of the country to wait until Memorial Day before stepping foot in the garden. I sowed our root veggies like carrots, radish, parsnip, rutabaga, and beets directly and transplanted brassica starts during this unusually warm late winter.
I've been very wrong before, like last season when a mid-May frost killed all of our tender tomato seedlings. Or when I put bean seeds in too early and they don't germinate. But this year, our gamble has paid a handsome return already. We've harvested all of the main heads from the broccoli crop and the garlic scapes. The kale is coming in from the garden in quantities sufficient to justify blanching and freezing for winter. We've even had some beets.
|Parsnip up-front, carrots at the back|
The carrot bed is full and tall enough that I won't need to weed it again until harvest. Parsnip are coming on strong since clearing away the companion radishes.
I've a new appreciation for the humble radish. There is nothing more reliable, care-free or faster growing than a spicy radish. My previous efforts to slice them for salads did not go over well at dinner until I discovered how delicious they are grated (cheese grater) in a slaw. We eat slaw in lieu of a lettuce salad, which my infant would choke on and is dependent on finicky lettuce plants that need to be continually reseeded since they bolt if you stare too hard at them. Carrot, parsnip, beets, radish, and I'm sure any dry crunchy edible (kolrhabi but not cucumber) will make a wonderful salad after grating and adding a dressing like seasoned mayonnaise. If available, we throw in some chopped napa cabbage for bulk, fresh broccoli and a few garlic scapes. My 18 month old ate this.
|3 ft tall garlic|