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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


Even with some simple row cover, I bet you could grow kale well into the winter. Possibly lettuce too. You'd likely have down time thought - probably February and March - but it wouldn't be too long!

Of course, with extensive greenhouses, you could grow literally 12 months a year. But that is expensive!
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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


I'd not really need extensive greenhouses....maybe something 20x12...long and narrow...enough where I can put raised beds along either side with a walkway between, and place shelving between beds along the wall to hold herbs, potted tomatoes, peppers, etc.
Dad had a small greenhouse when I was little, and I LOVED going in there. As a teen, when we moved to the house that my sister and I inherited (and that got blown away by the tornadoes last Spring)...Dad had a nice big greenhouse for a while. Was one of those that looked like a quanset hut...and it wasn't very expensive. Mostly PVC pipe frame, with that special greenhouse plastic as a cover. The center was probably 7-8 feet high..so more than enough room to walk in...and it had solid ends.....with a real door in one end and, if I recall right, a fan in the other end. There are ways to do them without costing an arm and leg.....but, we don't own where we live, and, I'd like to have a bit more in the way of capital before I did a build like that....even if it's not very expensive. One day, maybe!!!!

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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


Your dad's greenhouse sounds like the small one we have at the farm. It's a great place and it was rather inexpensive to put together. But would be a bummer to set up and then have to move and leave it behind!

More good stuff this week. And new things!

Image

The roots on the left are PARSNIPS! I love parsnips and they can be pretty hard to grow here but looks like we will have a good crop this year. We went with little parsnips which are supposed to be more heat tolerant. Nothing like the big huge ones you see at the store, but just as tasty!

In the middle, there's golden beets and red beets. In between the beets and parsnips is a big pile of baby arugula. YUM! And between the beets and turnips is curly kale, or vates kale. It's our first harvest of that this year and it's one of my favorite kales. Hmmm, come to think of it, all of the kales are my favorite kales! emoticon

Last edited by TexasMadness, 2/17/2012, 4:22 pm
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Firlefanz Profile
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


Have you tried freezing kale before cooking it? Where I live, kale is quite common and the meal we make from it (kale with small potatoes and lots of fat pork) is always made with kale that has been frozen at least once. Of course, now they use commecial freezer and have two crops a year!

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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


I'm not real big on kale. At least what we've grown here. We usually grow the curly kale (generally what is used to hide the ice in a salad bar) and some other kind of leaf lettuce in the late summer/early fall. For some reason, our kale has a kind of a tangy, tart taste that's not real pleasant. Not sure if it's the kind of curly kale, or what.....but I don't care for it. Most greens I don't have a problem with...I love salads, and I love cooked greens (mustard, turnip, collard, etc). Heck, I've even eaten what is technically a weed...."Bear's Lettuce"...it has to be "killed" with hot grease, though...so, I fry some bacon, shred the 'lettuce' crumble the bacon into it, cut up some green onions in it, then pour the hot bacon grease over it all and mix. Good stuff with cornbread and soup beans! LOL

I don't think I've ever seen golden beets before. Are they more of an orangy color?

Firle, I wonder if they freeze the kale because of that taste I mentioned. I may have to try to freeze some and see if that helps the taste. I know I'd not be able to use it in a salad after it's been frozen, but may be good to fix like the Bear's Lettuce. That, I may have to try.

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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


We do freeze the kale (IF I remember!) when I'm going to cook it in something like soup or pasta (ahem...runs to freezer to put in the kale for the Tuscan soup this weekend!). But all the flat leaf kale we grow now gets eaten as kale chips. I haven't noticed any taste difference and the defrosted kale is harder to work with when prepping them.

The golden beets are beautiful. When I cook something with them, I'll take a picture so you can see. They are truly orange!
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Firlefanz Profile
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


Saijen, yes, that is why we freeze the kale. Originally, it was only harvested after the first frost. Now freezers have taken over that duty.

 emoticon

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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


While flipping through the Johnny's catalog I saw a great picture of different beets and figured that was a better way to show you the golden ones!

Image

They are the second from the left. The other beets we got look just like the ones on the left - regular ol' red ones! We've also grown the Chioggia - the striped ones. Not sure if any were planted this year though.
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


Those are really pretty in color! We usually just do the usual red ones, too. I love beets. I tried to can just plain ole beets, but for some reason, all the color drained from the vegetable and they all turned white, which I thought was rather odd!
I mostly just pickle them now..which is fine with me, cause I LOVE pickled beets!! Still..would be nice to open a jar of regular beets to cook in some butter sauce!!!

Firle, I kind of figured that was the reason for freezing the kale. May have to try that in the future.
Texas, I realize it gets rather limp after it's been frozen..just like any leafy vegetable...and that does make it hard to work with. Same goes for bell pepper and onion. Once thawed, they're a bit tough, and limp, making cutting them difficult...so, I usually will chop or cut bell peppers before freezeing, as well as onions. Strips get used in stir-fry, some other dishes, while chopped gets used in meatloaf and other such dishes. Same for the onion.

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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Winter harvest on the farm


I did a blog post on the farm site with pictures of some of the meals I made with the vegetables last week. I hope to do this every week! It's fun to be in the habit of taking pictures of all the meals I make!

CSA Meals
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