December gardening chatter

What a blessing it is to be eating and selling from our garden in December! One bed of lettuce and spinach is just playing out, but a second is going great! We are picking Lolla Rossa lettuce, Little Gem lettuce, and New Zealand spinach for tonight’s dinner. The third bed is growing slowly and should help see us through winter. I prefer an Italian style dressing, but dh and the dc love Ranch-style dressing I make from our goats milk yogurt. I’ll add that recipe to a separate post.

We also have a 50ft bed full of turnips. The rabbits are very grateful for the tops.  Last week I added shredded turnips to our potato soup and it gave it a lovely flavor. Our favorite way to eat turnips though is in salads or just raw by the slice and another slice… and another slice.

Greens are also growing well. Besides the turnip greens we have 2 beds of mustard greens. Aaron especially loves mustard greens. They are a good bit of work though. One of his favorite meals is purple hull peas, mustard greens, and corn bread. A few weeks ago I walked HIM through making that meal and he now sees the work involved a bit better… and how many greens you have to prep because they REALLY cook down.

It looks like we’ll start picking cabbage this weekend. We have several beds in various stages of growth. I am looking forward to adding it to soups and Harold making his famous coleslaw. I think the kids are mostly looking forward to the fish tacos we make with it.

We are growing broccoli for the first time and we were very excited to find our first *head* growing a couple weeks ago. The plants are big and beautiful and we have struggled to wait for the *good part*. While waiting though we learned that the leaves sliced up give a wonderful broccoli taste to salads. I also read some people cook them like mustard greens. I hope to try that next week.

We lost our purple hull peas and green beans to an unexpected frost before we could pick them. Even covered or in our *hill billy greenhouse* we also lost all our tomatoes. I need to figure out *why* we lost those tomatoes. I think they should have been ok.

We have a few other odds and ends growing in another garden section, but they are very slow growing. I have more greens, more turnips, and some beets there.

We try to grow food for us, to sell, AND for some of the animals. The rabbits, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs really appreciate our efforts.

We are working hard to expand our gardens and are hoping to begin participating in Farmers Markets next year… but I’ll write more about that later. It is time now to go wash and prepare the lovely lettuce and spinach that Aaron just brought in.

Oh I should tuck in a word about pricing. Fresh picked produce is available by pre-order.

Lolla Rossa lettuce – $4 gal bag approx 8oz

Little Gem mini romaine style lettuce – $2 quart bag approx 3oz

Mixed bag of lettuce – $4 gal bag approx 8oz

New Zealand spinach – $2 quart bag approx 3oz

I’ll add cabbage pricing after we pick and weigh a couple heads.

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