Radish Stew

A Central Texas Gardening Journal

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Onion Sets

I love onions, so this time of year I purchase "onion sets" to plant in the garden. Pictured above is a newly planted bed of onions with a "set of onions" to be planted (and some well used gloves.) I have 2 sets of Red Onions, 2 White Bermuda, and 1 set of Yellow 1015s. Usually the onion sets have roots which are dried out so it takes several weeks for the onions to produce new roots and start growing again. The onions pictured have some fresh roots, which I think may be an advantage. Some of these onions will be harvested green and most will be in the ground until the tops dry, in early summer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Radish Salad

Add beets to the salad!

Our daily salad recently has consisted of lettuces, carrots, and radishes from the garden. The weather lately has been cold and gray with a blessing of over 3" of rain. These factors have kept us from working in the garden a lot, but not from harvesting to prepare wonderful meals. We have been eating salads as well as turnips and beets. Turnips are generally boiled and eaten solo. We bake the beets in a covered pan with a little water. When they are cooked, after about an hour in the oven, we easily remove the skins for use in a variety of dishes. We found that a chilled, sliced beet is a wonderful addition to our salad! That salad can brighten any cold gray day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Seed varieties

Thanks to Sandra for asking about which seeds we have used this season! The bulk of our seeds have been ordered from Park Seed Company of Greenwood, South Carolina. I have used this vendor for several years with much success. The varieties in our winter garden are:
Organic Beet Boro Hybrid
Lettuce Red Sails
Mustard Savanna
Collards Georgia
Swiss Chard Bright Lights
Celery Tango Hybrid
Cauliflower Amazing
Organic Broccoli Delight
Onion Yellow Granex
Beet Touchstone Gold Hybrid

Another souce of seeds which we use is Botanical Interests from Broomfield, Colorado. Typically, I purchase these seeds at the garden store. I have planted the following:
Radish French Breakfast
Kohlrabi Purple and White Vienna Blend
Lettuce Romaine Parris Island Cos
Purple Top White Globe Turnips

The Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage and Prickly-seeded Spinach seeds came from The Thomas Jeffson Center for Historic Plants. See my earlier blog about Monticello!

This season we purchased a few seedlings at the Natural Gardener store in Oak Hill. They include the Broccoli Rabe, Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and a few Broccoli and Cauliflower planra.

In the photo above I have included my notebook which I keep with the seeds. I draw a layout of the garden each season with each row indicating what was planted. This helps me keep the crops rotated as much as possible.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Brussels Sprouts

 How could I forget to mention Brussels Sprouts in the winter garden? Pictured above is two Brussels Sprouts with drooping leaves. The plants protect the stems where the sprouts grow when the temperature is freezing.

When the day warms up, the Brussels Sprouts again lift their leaves to the sun! Very clever plants.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Garden

The winter garden is low and slow. Except for the excellent radishes, everything seems to take a long time to mature. We finally had about .7" of rain on Christmas Eve and a few small showers since. And we have started enjoying the harvest from the winter garden!

We have been enjoying Broccoli Rabe for the first time. I believe we will be growing much more next year.

Pictured above is one of the beds of Cos Romaine lettuce. We also have Red Leaf lettuce. Wonderful!

This broccoli picture was taken two weeks ago. Once the bloom appeared it seemed to grow more quickly and became dinner last night.

In the foreground, Cauliflower, then Yellow Beets, then turnips. We have been eating turnips, but no cauliflower or yellow beets yet. In rows not pictured, we have cabbages, Swiss chard, spinach, kohlrabi, kale, tiny onions, smaller cauliflower and broccoli, carrots, parsley, and even tiny celery plants waving their flags.

Collard greens are a winter staple. What is New Year's Day without black eye peas, cornbread and collard greens?

This is the first year we have had Red Beets at Radish Stew. They are so delicious!