This week, I also harvested horseradish (pepperrot) roots. Some will be ground to be used fresh, usually with lunch and some will be forced in the dark later in the winter for the delicious blanched shoots using a similar method to that described yesterday for dandelions (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=23997)
The weather was a bit milder over the last few days, thawing sufficiently so that I could crowbar dandelion roots from the frozen soil and pot them up ready for winter forcing which will give a never ending supply of delicious, nutritious midwinter greens for free later in the winter (just a little effort)!
1. Dig up the roots
2. Remove (and eat) any green leaves
3. Plant the roots in soil up to the crown and then cover the crowns in a couple of centimetres of clean sand (I use buckets)
4. Store in the coolest place possible to keep them dormant (it could also be outside if you don’t have a root cellar)
5. Move to a warmer place ( a cool room works well) a couple of weeks before you need the shoots (keep dark if you want delicious blanched shoots)
(This is the same method you can use for forcing chicory, but to my mind dandelions are even tastier and they sow themselves….and all you have to do is NOT to weed and harvest instead!)
It snowed all day yesterday, but it’s unfrozen underneath and spring bulbs like snowdrops (snøklokke), coltsfoot (hestehov), winter aconite (vinterblom), Crocus tommasianus and Hepatica transylvanica are in flower under the snow. Remembering where the edibles are located, I can still harvest food under the snow:
Hablitzia tamnoides, Allium carinatum, Ranunculus ficaria var chrysocephalus (lesser celandine / vårkål), Alliaria petiolata (hedge garlic / løkurt) and (forced inside) dandelions (løvetann)
The Less than Extreme Salad Man has been in action with the year’s multi-species salad! A few hours before the polar low storm hit and snow covered the greens, I did a forage around the garden, finding about 15 species, mostly onions, but there were fresh dandelions, perennial kales and the first Hablitzia shoots. These were added to a selection of stored vegetables from the cellar, including blanched dandelion and chicory shoots which had grown in the above average temperatures. About 30 different veggies!
We’re nearing the end of a very mild period with no frost in the ground, so I’ve been doing a lot of unseasonal work in the garden. Yesterday, I dug over the horseradish (pepperot) bed and excavated this one root that was trying to escape into a neighbouring area as carefully as I could!
I cut off the top with a bit of root for forcing the delicious young shoots and the root will be ground!
A few pictures of life returning to the garden…