Friday, November 5, 2010
Frosted Leaves and Gusty Winds
I thought I was soooo smart when I set up most of my mini hoop tunnels last week.. the temperature had been hovering around 1 C most mornings and frost was becoming a daily event - as you can see from the photos. Yet, here we are today, with temperatures expected in the mid-teens for the next few days and winds gusting to 80 km/hour!
So, yesterday evening, I decided to take down most of my row covers and tunnels until this storm had passed. I did, however leave one plastic-covered mini hoop tunnel overtop my endive, mustards and lettuces.. fingers crossed it hasn't blown away in the night!
It's a funny time of the year and hard to know when the weather will finally decide to stay cold - not that I'm complaining.. I love the mild temperatures, but the yo-yo weather of autumn certainly keeps one on their toes!
We've finally started eating the kale.. we were enjoying baby leaves throughout the summer in mixed salads, but once the plants mature, we like to wait until the cold weather arrives to sweeten up the foliage. Now, they're so tasty, that we can graze on them as we putter in the garden - no need to cook the succulent leaves!
I love the intensely curled leaves of Winterbor (at left), but as I've said before, it's the Tuscan kale that is the star of the show (top)! The blue-green, strap-like leaves are so pretty - heavily blistered and arching - but they're also so tasty and perfect for sauteeing, soups or fresh eating.. divine! Plus, they're a superfood and packed with nutrients..
We plant our fall and winter kale in mid summer - a time when no garden centers carry transplants for the late season.. I'm hoping that next spring I'll be able to convince a few to start offering some veggie seedlings for fall! Fall broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, lettuces, mustards and more.. it's a lovely time of the year..