I typically consider vegetable gardening as a heat climate exercise. In truth although, I develop a number of frost tolerant greens for a late fall harvest. I plant these crops within the spring in any case hazard of frost has handed. Aside from weeding, mulching and watering, I just about ignore these veggies all through the summer time.
As temperatures start to drop within the late summer time and early fall, these veggie crops appear to spring into motion with renewed progress and fewer injury from invertebrate pests. Lengthy after frost has killed my beloved tomato and pepper crops, I proceed to reap these backyard favorites proper up till a killing freeze is within the forecast:
Shiny Lights Swiss Chard
From an early age, I can keep in mind my mom cooking homegrown Swiss chard. Whether or not it was picked recent or had been preserved by freezing, she would begin this leafy inexperienced facet dish by caramelizing an onion in olive oil.
Recent Swiss chard can be sauteed till tender. If it got here from the freezer, she would chuck the frozen blob within the pan to thaw. Both method, as she stirred the pot, the leaves and stems can be coated with the caramelized onion oil. As with most dishes from my childhood, the reminiscence of my mother’s chard can’t compete with my very own cooking.
Swiss chard is a straightforward crop to develop and I really like how the vivid coloured stems of the Shiny Lights selection add eye attraction to my veggie patch. I begin my seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings into the backyard similtaneously my pepper and tomato crops.
I’ve by no means had a problem with my Swiss chard bolting like different leafy chilly season crops. Come fall, I minimize off any overly mature outer leaves after which harvest by the cut-and-come-again methodology till the chard succumbs to winter climate.
One other childhood favourite, my mom would roast parsnips in olive oil sprinkled with black pepper. My maternal grandmother grew up on a farm and I’m guessing this simply-prepared dish was handed down from technology to technology.
I’ll admit, rising parsnips is troublesome for me. For starters, it’s completely important to make use of recent seed. I’m a seed saver and throwing out previous seeds isn’t my nature. Nonetheless, I power myself to buy recent parsnip seeds yearly.
Moreover, the foliage of parsnips appears to be like like weeds to me. I ensure that I completely mark the place I plant parsnips in order that I don’t accidently pull them out. As soon as I’ve thinned and mulched my patch of parsnips, it’s merely a matter of ready patiently for the taproots to enlarge.
Parsnips are one of many greens that tolerate frost properly. Thus, I solely harvest dinner-sized parts at a time. The remainder can stay within the floor till proper earlier than the soil freezes. If any parsnips are left within the backyard by then, I roast and freeze them for a microwavable facet dish.
Late Flat Dutch Cabbage
Cabbage is such a flexible veggie. I prefer to pair recent slaw with pulled smoked pork sandwiches, however I additionally prefer to serve fried cabbage with pierogies. As a conventional dish handed all the way down to me from my mom, I exploit the bigger cabbage leaves to make cabbage rolls. These freeze properly for no-prep meals throughout the winter.
Like Swiss chard and parsnips, cabbage is without doubt one of the greens that survive frost. I plant my cabbage in late spring. Aside from the occasional facet of cole slaw, I don’t harvest very a lot cabbage in the summertime.
As a substitute, I concentrate on culinary dishes made with heat climate crops. I do know these will probably be gone a lot sooner from the backyard. Which is why I just like the Late Flat Dutch cabbage selection. It takes 100 days to succeed in maturity. Which implies, it’s prepared in time for fall. If I’ve an excessive amount of to make use of recent, it freezes properly. Along with the summer time crops I’ve preserved, these chilly climate favorites add selection to the dinner desk all winter lengthy.