Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Garden: Turnips and more...

Yesterday warmed up to a balmy 7 degrees and I had some garden clean up on the long list of "things to do before we move." The thaw would certainly make things easier. Messy... but easier.

The "frost" cover had long since blown off my kale, mache and turnips. They were quickly covered in snow and I gave them up for a loss... 

When I went out to remove the frames, as they are being passed on to a wonderful gardening neighbor, to my shock I saw little bits of purple popping out of the ground. Turnips! 



These are the very late seeded turnips that I figured I would harvest for greens in the fall. With the move and other excitement I neglected them... Without any babysitting from me they went right on growing. Oh how fun is that?

I harvested them. Steamed them up. Drizzled them with olive oil. Sprinkled a little salt. And relished in the fresh taste of food right out of the ground in the middle of January!
The working man was pretty impressed and very happy to have a treat like this on the table as well.

What about the kale and mache you ask?

The kale, being a bit more exposed, was looking a little rough but still going quite strong. No doubt it would have continued to thrive under the frost cover.

I had to dig under a good layer of snow to find the mache. It was bright green and beautiful under there. I nipped a few leaves and they were tasty. It would have been fun to see them take off in the spring.

After my experience with the cold frames and now this in the main garden I am officially hooked on winter gardening. Considering it was snowing yesterday in our soon-to-be new home I can still put everything I have learned to good use.

My winter garden inspiration is from this book. An awesome resource for year-round gardening. The author lives just down the road from us here in Nova Scotia. 

Have you ever had a winter garden? I would love to hear about it...


  1. That is amazing!! Thanks for the book link, I would love to try some winter gardening...maybe next year.

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  3. love those turnips! just that pop of pinkish purple...so cheerful.

    1. I know. Seeing them pop out of the snow and earth this time of year was magical. I went a bit nuts with pictures but I am a little geeky that way ;-)

  4. That is so cool Dawn. I bet those turnips tasted sooo good. Tucson certainly doesn't count for true winter gardening but, last year I planted, carrots, beets, chard and spinach. Yummy!

    1. They did taste so very good.
      It does count. Now that I have been here I kick myself for not gardening year-round in Cali... oh the things I should have been growing!