Over the last two weeks, we have officially put the farm project to bed for winter.
What remained in the rows was harvested and hauled in to add to the compost heap, cover crops have been sown, and, with the passing rain this week, will be popping up in no time.
Top: after late season harvest, Bottom: cover crops sown and waiting for the rain!
There were still SO many green tomatoes to be picked before frosty mornings claimed them. What weren’t used for fried green tomatoes, fresh salads, and pickles have been set aside for preserves. So look forward to some creative green tomato recipes sometime soon!
There are a few vegetables remaining that lend themselves well to wintery weather. Carrots are one of the best because they develop a sweeter flavor after a frost. In Sonoma County, carrot seeds can be sown up to 3 weeks before the frost, and mulched to grow through the cool season (typical days-to-harvest is 50-80, depending on the varietal, but tender baby carrots can be brought in sooner). I highly recommend planting fall carrots – it’s an amazing treat to walk into a bare winter garden and pull up those bright, sweet roots.
These will be ready in just a few short weeks, and will be all the more delicious for the cold nights we’ve had:
Another veggie from the spring garden that’s thrived into the cooler temperatures is the Dino Kale. Even thought it’s typically grown as an annual, kale is actually a bi-annual (it will complete it’s life cycle in two years), so it’s still going strong well into fall. We harvest our kale plants for continuous production all year. This is very simple – just snap the leaves from the lower growth of the plant, and leave the inner bud to continue producing.
This is how they look after almost one year:
For the past few winters, we’ve opted to use the season to replenish and renew the soil instead of farming through the cold season. This is the time of year when we rely more heavily on our local farmers, and are very grateful to them! It’s also a wonderful opportunity to focus on fermenting, preserving, and planning the garden for the coming season.
What’s your favorite winter vegetable? Leave us a note!