The first winter shoots were harvested from the cellar today. It is almost totally dark in the cellar and currently about +6C. The blanched shoots in the picture are (from L to R) dandelions (løvetann), perennial kales (flerårige kål) and catalogna chicory (sikkori). Otherwise you can see Korean celery (Dystaenia takesimana), perennial celery / fool’s watercress (Apium nodiflorum), turnip (nepe) , carrot (gulrot) and lemon balm (sitronmelisse).
The salad was decorated with Begonia flowers from the living room!
This week I’ve spent a lot of time preparing various less hardy plants for winter, laying down blackberry canes and covering with leaves and jute sacking to hold the leaves in place and similarly with sea kale which is marginally hardy here.
Even though it was under -5C it was dry and quite pleasant to work outside raking leaves from the wild part of the garden.
I was a bit late this year, the cold spell with 10 days below 0C every day means that there’s already 10cm or so frozen solid in parts of the garden, so crossing fingers that I wasn’t too late.
Here’s part of my collection of perennial kales which are marginal here even with the roots protected. In my world, kales are of the least hardy vegetables :)
The canes of my 30 year old blackberry are almost as long as the south facing wall of my house:
…and my 35 year old seakale bed, covered as maybe 1 in 10 winters they wouldn’t survive!
Tonight’s veggie pizza (with part of the bread dough as I’m also baking bread this evening) had some unusual for me ingredients: perennial kales, a mix of oriental brassicas (pak choy, mizuna, mustard greens etc.), various spring onions (all hacked out of the frozen soil) with garlic, chili, oregano, dried fungi – Albatrellus ovinus (fåresopp in Norwegian) and topped with dried seed of highly invasive himalayan balsam (kjempespringfrø), the seeds of which are quite attractive (see the picture)
Since I first blogged about an invasion of diamondback moths (kålmøll) two days ago, reports have been coming in across Scandinavia of the enormity of this invasion, even reaching the farthest north parts of the Norwegian mainland in Finnmark, the arctic city of Tromsø and Northern Sweden. In some places, it’s been too cold to start planting out vegetables!
There were more than a thousand moths in my garden yesterday and they were observed swarming over my perennial kales (Brassica oleracea), sea kale (Crambe maritima) and common wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris), none of which are likely to be severely affected.
Great to be home again to nutritious vegetarian food! Presenting this week’s two dishes, each lasting two days: dried broad bean falafels (with golpar spice) and a mixed cellar veggie wholegrain sourdough pizza with masses of forced dandelions and perennial kale shoots!
After 3-4 weeks of snow cover, the weather this week changed dramatically and we had the second warmest February day over the last 100 years with over 10C! Together with rain and wind, almost all of what was close to 50 cm of snow has disappeared. For plants, this has been a very mild winter and the ground has hardly been frozen. As soon as the snow had disappeared I could dig the soil. Some edibles such as nettles and chickweed haven’t been killed by frost. Here are some pictures of (apart from the snowdrops) edibles in the garden today.
The last 3 days, I’ve been harvesting as quickly as I can as it’s very cold for the time of year (max. about -6C today) and the earth is now frozen to 5-6 cm deep….at this rate it won’t be possible to break up the surface layer with hand tools…but a few things like leeks will have to wait until the weekend….hoping I can get them up…