Having just survived several days of very cold weather, I could not resist the temptation of a sunny day in the mid 40’s. Grabbing the camera and some harvesting tools I headed for the chicken coop and then the garden.
My three chickens named “Buffy” (they all look alike) hadn’t been out of the pen since the snow storm last week and neither had I; mentally, I mean. Got out to the pen, greeted the Buffys and opened the pen door to let them out. Those chickensh*%s wouldn’t leave the pen because of the 2″ crust of snow on the ground. I had to tempt them with a treat before they would venture out. They bit for the mealy worm feast cast before them. They came, they pecked, they returned to the pen. ” Thanks for the company, girls. Don’t let the pen door hit you in the butt on the way in”.
Did I mention what a beautiful day it was? Late afternoon sun, which this time of year can be quite pleasing, moderate temperatures, no wind; a perfect January Day.
A Visit to the Carrot and Beet Patch
Remember the harvesting tools? My ultimate destination was the low tunnel covering the carrots and beets. It took about twenty minutes to free the bottom edge of the plastic sheeting that covers the tunnel so that I could peel it back to gain access to the planting bed. I was pleased with what I saw when I moved the plastic out of the way. Remarkably, the greens for both the carrots and beets looked relatively healthy. I looked for the bushiest carrot heads and pulled them out of the ground. The end result was thirty two carrots, with many more left to harvest in March.
Sadly, the beet roots haven’t yet grown to harvest size. The greens, however, were very healthy. I had planted three rows that were four feet long. The small patch produced a large bowl full of beautiful greens. I live for these moments; outdoors on a pleasant day in January, enjoying the late afternoon sun and shadows. Add some harvesting and some quality time with the “Girls” and you have a recipe for shaking those “Midwinter Blues”.
While the canopy was open, I took the opportunity to water the entire plant bed. I closed the tunnel and won’t be back until late February. The short days are signally dormancy for most of the stuff in both low tunnels.
When my wife got home from work, she noticed the beet greens and thought that they would be a nice addition to dinner. I was assigned the job of wilting the greens while she stir fried the scallops she had picked up on the way home. We included some leftover celeriac puree and had a delicious supper. I will post the recipe very soon.
All the best,