Friday, December 17

Late season vegetable garden starts with planning for cold weather.

Early Wonder Beet - 400 Seeds - BONUS PACK!Here in the Pioneer Valley, the gardening season is over but there are places in the country where gardeners are in the mid-season of gardening and this aritcle is for those who are starting their gardens late in the season.

If you are starting a late season vegetable garden, plan ahead for the impending cold weather.
Blue Scotch Curled Kale - 100 Seeds - BONUS PACK!
Brassicas are a great warm and cold weather choice that will nutritionally benefit your household long term: Bokchoy, pakchoy, the wide varieties of kale, swiss chard, and brussel sprouts: Steam and eat or freeze. Brassicas have a unique character in that they have a wide variety of nutrients to offer the dinner plate. Kale even has protein as well as a whole load of calcium and vitamin A. Eat a cup a day to keep the doctor and father time away. Its a great anti-aging plant to add to the diet. Steam it with a bit of brown sugar, real butter and pepper. Create the butter and brn.sugar sauce first and then pour over the kale to offset the bitterness. This is especially helpful for children and adults who can’t palate the bitter taste. Just a small bit of this sauce changes the taste so don’t over do it. In our household we use buttercup (not butternut) squash instead of brown sugar to sweeten everything. If you have enough time to grow it, do it. It is a great sugar replacement in soups, stews, tomato sauces, and a terrific additive to sauces as well.
Kale Italian Lacinato Nero Toscana Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 75 Seeds
Root vegetables are another pleasant tasting solution: beets and the plethora of fresh beet greens during warm weather, turnips and turnip greens, and a variety of potatoes interplanted with horseradish which protects the potatoes from bugs.
Prepara Oil Mister
If you want instant gratification, trellis some peas of all kinds: steam and eat or freeze for winter stir-frys. You can also eat the tendrils from the tops of the plants: steamed and seasoned with an olive oil and lime sauce with cinnamon and a touch of clove or horseradish. Another instant gratification plant is lettuce. There are a variety of lettuces that bring nutrition to the table in many colors.
Fiorana Spinach - 500 Seeds - Great for Containers!Fiorana is great for containers
Spinach is another alternative and you can bring the vining malabar spinach inside for the winter if you plant it in a large pot originally: Harvest the long vine before bringing in and then grow under a light in a naturally lit room. Malabar spinach is difficult to find in plant form so seeds may be what you will be forced to plant. Don’t stress, plant regular bloomsdale spinach as well for a quick dinner salad and plant some in your inside garden as well. Spinach takes very little light (like lettuce 4 hrs. per day)to grow well.
Big Ideas for Small Gardens: Featuring Dave Egbert's Garden Notebook
I do hope that some of these suggestions help you in planning your vegetable garden. Keep in mind, that what you and your family eats now is what you should plant in the garden. A small spaced vegetable garden is not where you should experiment with new foods. Try them from the grocers first and then determine the space you will need to provide for them in your garden. If no one likes them, then save the space for what everyone likes to make sure that your vegetable garden is providing what is popular and necessary for your household.

Fall Foliage and Lake, the Berkshires, MA Photographic Poster Print by Kindra Clineff, 18x24 The bottle of Mount Tom mirrored in the pond of Eathampton.

Blessings from the snow covered Pioneer_Valley in the lower Berkshires of Western Masschusetts