Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Harvesting the last of the root vegetables

Clay came down tonight and we worked in the garden.  Hard to believe it is November 17 and it is still bearable to be in the garden!  It rained today, pretty windy this evening, so it was hardly what I would term bucolic out there, but still, gardening in the second half of November?  I'll take it!

I picked my last lovely large head of buttercrunch lettuce, and I am going to eat the whole thing for supper.  Note the large worm who is having his last supper as I write this.  I have peppers and onions from the garden to top it, and will use some shredded homemade Caerphilly cheese mixed with sour cream and mayo for the dressing.

For the first time since I moved out here and started my garden, I have deer damage.  My Nero de Toscana winter kale must have been just too tempting and tender.  It is quite young, planted from seed in late August, and is supposed to mature mid-December.  They are leaving the big stuff alone, but they ate the tops off about half of the Neros, and also ate little shoots of dill.  Or maybe it was rabbits.  I don't know.  But the party is over.  They are now protected by a row cover. I don't mind sharing with worms - they really don't eat all that much.  But a deer or a rabbit can do quite a bit of damage in a short time.

I got out the potato fork and Clay grabbed a couple of buckets when we were done with the row covers.  I loosened the earth around the remaining carrots and beets and he pulled them and knocked off the dirt.  I had some big carrots in there!  I also had some that were not what I thought I planted, namely some round ones.  But that's okay.  We found a lot of wild carrots in the row, threw most of them away, but there was one that was quite nice.  It's the long skinny white one in the picture.

Here's a picture of Clay, just before we started washing the vegetables.  He does a good job in the garden.  This is his fourth year of working down here, and he is a really big help.  I couldn't do it without him.   

Well, it's already time to button up the chickens.  These short days just keep getting shorter.  But soon.  Only 34 days until the the Sun God takes over for his half of the year.  I am looking forward to sunny snowy days in January, with the orange of the setting sun spilling over the snow a little later each day.  That is when I will be hunkering down at the computer to update my greenhouse plant catalog for 2010.

Off to the chickens, then back to the house for that fantastic salad!!


  1. BOY, you ARE having a nice late season. Look at that green grass still around your garden areas. We've had much more early cold this Autumn (although it got over 60 here today and was gorgeous) and ours is pretty brown. Has really turned brown and burnt from freeze these past few weeks. We've had some HARD freezes already. Single digit lows...

    So, I now have to question my stereotypes. And I'm SO glad to do so: I pictured Clay as an older guy and quite a bit older than the young man I see here. I'm thinking that my stereotype was that 'no young person today would want to be doing such work'. So you can imagine how happy I am to see a young guy who obviously enjoys his work when you consider that he has stuck with your for FOUR years now. My hat is OFF to a guy his age taking this path. GOOD FOR HIM. I hope he is enjoying it. And if he isn't, I'll bet he'll STILL look back on these as his "good old days"!

  2. Well, as you can see, there is a little frost damage on the lettuce, but that was from about six weeks ago, when we had an unexpected dip. When it gets cold slowly and the plants get a chance to harden off, then they can withstand quite low temps. It has been as low as 26º here, and the lettuce has made it through just fine. Supposed to warm up again this weekend. :)