Harvest Monday, December 3, 2012

The harvests for this post are quite similar to last Monday’s post.

DSC04524editp copyChicory Orchidea Rossa (Radicchio)
Brought in 6 (3 were only the size of tennis ball).
Left 2 in the garden to test for cold hardiness.

Both chicory (radicchio) in the above photo were germinated from seeds from the same packet yet one is long and skinny, the other round. Anyone knows the reason? There is no difference in taste. This round one is much larger than the one posted on 11/26/12 but not as solid. Wrapped each in clean dry paper towel and placed in plastic bag. Should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

DSC04523editp copyLeeks and Broccoli
Brought in most of the leeks, they are rather skinny.
The 2 broccoli were surprises.

The broccoli on the left is green but the one on the right is purple/red. Too bad there was not time for them to get bigger, especially the purple/red one.

DSC04532editp copyDSC04533editp copy

Cleaned the leeks. Thinly sliced the white and light green sections, placed in freezer bag (separate easily after frozen), date, label and freeze for later use, above left photo.

Green parts were cut into about 5-inch lengths, placed in freezer bag (also separate easily after frozen), date, label and freeze for adding to pot when making broth. Above right photo.

DSC04528editp copyCeleriac and carrots

Decided to bring in all my celeriacs, 6 total. The one in the above photo is the largest, 1½ pounds, the others were smaller, less than 1 pound. Also dug in a some carrots. Did not wash as I am experimenting with winter storage in my unheated garage.

DSC04535editp copyLeft to right: celeriac, carrots, parsnips, sunchoke (Jeruselam artichoke) and beets

Covered bottom of windowbox with about 2 inches of damp (not wet) pro-mix. Placed root veggies on top. Celeriac and carrots were unwashed. Parsnips, sunchoke and beets were washed. Will see if there is any difference during storage

 DSC04538editp copyCovered root veggies completely with damp pro-mix.
Placed windowbox in unheated garage to overwinter.

Years ago, in my younger days, I used to dig a little hole behind the house every fall. Pile my root veggies in the hole, cover with a thick layer of leaves and bringing in as needed throughout the winter. Worked well until critters discovered my stash. That was the end of that form of winter storage.

In more recent years, I leave the root veggies in the garden and mulch with a thick layer of leaves. Harvest as needed. The problem with this is if there is too much snow, I cannot get to the garden nor open the garden gate and, again, critters come to feast.

The logic behind this experiment is mimic the “storage hole” condition and not have to worry about critters, I hope. Now why did I not think of this experiment before?

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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59 Responses to Harvest Monday, December 3, 2012

  1. Eva Taylor says:

    And still a great harvest, Norma. I store my leeks (i buy when on sale) the same way but I’ve frozen them on a cookie sheet first, now I see that it’s not necessary. The celery root looks amazing.
    Your storage experiment looks good. I would have to watch for the Mickey critter variety even in the garage. Mind you, this year they haven’t even come into the house, yet. We usually have to pull out the traps by now. It breaks my heart.
    Can’t wait to see what you cook with all these beautiful veggies.

  2. Some years we get mice in the garage. Don’t leave the door open very long.

  3. That is a great idea to freeze your leeks. They are already washed and sliced and ready to go. Fabulous idea of getting fresh produce from your garden to your wok faster.

  4. cocomino says:

    Good garden as always. The carrots are really nice. My carrots are small every year because the energy is shortage. 🙂

  5. Phyllis smith says:

    I was thinking maybe bird netting over top of window box would keep out possible chipmunks or mice. Good storage idea!

  6. pooks says:

    This is why I love Harvest Monday. I learn so much from watching others. We have our first fall/winter garden and I don’t know what to do with it, but what else is new? I’m not having much success from seeds. My carrots and radishes have been in the ground long enough to be harvested but the radishes are just long skinny roots and the carrots are tiny. Not sure if I should pull the carrots and enjoy their tiny sweetness or if they’ll keep growing if I leave them in. So when I see your raddichio it gives me hope that I’ll figure this out eventually!

    I don’t have a post today, but posted a harvest picture here:

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Pooks,
      How cold does your winter get? May be mulch a section of the carrots and radishes, leave them to overwinter and see what happens come spring. You may need to start your fall/winter garden earlier. Gardening is learning by experience.
      I do not have facebook.

      • pooks says:

        Dallas is hard to predict. We could have a warm-ish winter in which case it probably would all do fine. We could also have ice and single-digits, followed by 50s-70s a day or two later. Our weather is weird. I’ll take your advice and let most overwinter to see what happens! Thanks. (And no problem about facebook.)

  7. Patsy says:

    I hope your new storage system works for you! Your harvest looks very good for December. I use leek greens for broth too, they really add a wonderful flavor to the broth, don’t they?

  8. Amber says:

    Looks like two different varieties of radicchio to me…maybe they mixed some up! Regardless they look great! As do the leeks 🙂

  9. Annie says:

    Am very curious how successful your veggie storage experiment will be…I would like to try that one out too:)

  10. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Love seeing your early winter harvest. BTW, mice will chew or squeeze through bird netting. hardware cloth would be a wiser option if you have mice in your garage.

  11. Diana says:

    I never realised that leek can be frozen.
    Your root vegetables look good must taste sweeter after over-wintered.

  12. you are still getting a great harvest norma! what about wicker baskets in the basement or another cool place?

  13. ChgoJohn says:

    It’s December and still you’re harvesting! That’s wonderful, Norma, and a testament to your hard work. I would never be able to store any food outdoors. If the mice didn’t find it, the possum, raccoons, or skunks would. I store most of my vegetables the time-honored way: in my refrigerator’s vegetable crisper. 🙂

  14. Another pretty chicory harvest! I dream of being as organized and as good as you are about freezing and storing. I’m working on it, but need a bigger freezer.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      Need to look into why not every chicory plant formed a head. Going to plant a sprng crop for comparison.
      I have a stand alone freezer which I just love, couldn’t do without.

  15. Hi Norma, yes, why that radicchio is different? Did one had too much junk food? 🙂 I love your harvest, especially celeriac and beets. Have you ever used sand for your root vegetables (to cover for overwintering)?

  16. Liz says:

    The celeraic is super impressive. I am about to plant some out and if they turn out anything like yours I shall be delighted. Any tips for me?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      I find celeriac easier to grow than celery. It likes full sun, moist soil that is rich in organic matter and slightly acidic. I am sure yours will grow so much better than mine.

  17. Still harvesting from your garden at this time? Amazing! Just bought a head of radicchio this morning for the salad. 4 Euros per kilo over here…

  18. kitsapfg says:

    Beautiful harvest this week Norma. My leeks are always skinnier than other gardeners for some reason. Probably less sun in my garden than they really need. The storage method for root crops should work beautifully. I know several people who do it similarly with great success.

  19. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s a great storage system, Norma. Love your harvest and I think your leeks look great. I didn’t know you could freeze them like that xx

  20. That chicory looks so bright and delicious.

  21. Daphne says:

    Good luck on your experiment. My storage is my fridge. And they always annoy me until I eat enough of them that I get the other half of my fridge back.

  22. Juliana says:

    Interesting storage Norma, and yes you still amaze me with you harvest…
    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  23. I wish I could help you with your Raddichio question, but I’m not much of a gardener. You’ve got quite the solution to your veggies sorted out there.. Good luck with it this winter! xx

  24. leduesorelle says:

    Wonderful looking radicchio! We haven’t had tremendous luck growing them, but have some that we got from the farmers’ market and have lasted in storage for 6 weeks now. The farmer told me he leaves the roots in after the first harvest, then gets a second though smaller sized crop. Looking forward to following how your root-storage experiments works!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Leduesorelle,
      This is the first time I have luck with them. Unfortunatley I pulled up the whole plant and discarded the roots, next year I will know better. Am going to try for a spring planting. Will post about my root-storage experiments at a later date.

  25. I can’t wait to see how they store; please keep us updated.

  26. Karen says:

    Love the tip about freezing leeks…hadn’t thought to do that. Interesting about the two shapes on the radicchio. I know there is a long variety…that is typically grown in Italy.

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