Sunday, January 30, 2022

Winter Garden and January Harvest

Snow and cold, unusual for the Island ... Dec. 30, 2021
Finally the weather has warmed up after 3 weeks of snow and cold that started on Christmas Eve, I checked the winter garden crops last week. The cabbage heads outer leaves were slimy from the -15C and didn't fare well through the cold, even though I had them covered with tarps. They are edible with all the damaged leaves removed but I've used them as chicken food. The hens went crazy for the fresh, crisp vegetables!! Great food and entertainment for them in this weather. The kale did well and is now very sweet from the cold. I pulled back the maple leaves and straw mulch from the root crops and was really surprised to see the beets are still okay. I dug 3 celeriac roots, a gallon pail of carrots and the few beets that were left in the garden. With the warmer temperatures the carrots are starting to grow little 'hairy' roots so I piled the mulch back on top of the remaining 2 rows for harvest in 3-4 weeks or when I need them.
January Harvest - beets, celeriac and carrots

The garlic shoots are poking through the mulch and even the strawberries are showing signs of new life. I had to pull some perennial weeds and grasses to try and stay ahead of them. Once the snow and ice was gone and the temperatures above 0C we had a good stretch of fog. It was cold and damp but at least it wasn't rain, so digging the root crops was a bit easier than if the soil was really wet. Not much can compare to the flavor and crunch of fresh, organic carrots harvested in January! After growing up on the prairies, I still marvel at the food I can grow here year round! I've put in my seed orders for the garden this year and am starting to plan and gear up for Spring!

On a sad note, our eagles' nest blew out of the tree in two crazy wind storms we had in December. The eagle pair was back in October and November bringing more branches to the nest. They were back early in January, sitting in the perch tree I'm sure wondering, where the heck is our home? We hear the eagles around and sometimes they come to the perch tree but so far there has been no activity to rebuild the nest in the same location. At this point it is too late in the season for them to start building. We will miss the close entertainment of Nature they gave us. The extreme weather conditions have been breaking records and making headline News for more than a year now. Every season has had an extreme, difficult result. Welcome to the new normal...

Until next time ... Stay safe, warm and dry,
Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae