October was coming to an end and still no hard frost, quite unusual, but snow shower was predicted for the area so Mary who is in charge of the Edible Landscape, Dutchess County Farm & Home Center, Rt. 44, Millbrook, NY, scheduled a work session on Monday to remove all the frost tender vegetables. That was a good call as Thursday night we had killer frost and on Saturday we had snow, yes, snow in October and lots of it (Millbrook: 21+ inches), quite unusual.
Malabar spinach, Pinetree ‘Basella alba’, was one of the frost tender veggies. The plant was still looking gorgeous, but you do what you have to do. The photo at right was taken by Mary (I forgot to bring my camera).
Only one volunteer took some of the Malabar spinach I ended up with most of the harvest. Washed, discarded stems and mature leaves. Result: 3 pounds of tender leaves. Sautéd until wilted in olive oil with minced garlic, minced shallots and a few slices of ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Cooled some and packaged in a freezer bag, dated and labeled, will find out how well this vegetable freezes at a later date.
Did not get to my own garden before Thursday’s killer frost but was able to salvage some of the veggies on Friday.
Also dug the remainder of the sweet potatoes (vines were damaged by frost). These were planted from purchased slips that arrived too late in the season, yields were very poor and tubers were very small as a result. The photo above shows the harvested total of all 3 varieties from 7 plants, weight: 1¾ pounds. I liked the texture of all 3. Will definitely plant purple and Korean purple (this variety is similar or may be the same as the white sweet potato I plant) but will be propagating my own slips so I can plant in a timely manner.
Photo at right is a cross section of the purple.
Check out this site Secondary Edible Parts of Vegetables, you will find useful and surprising information.
Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays.