Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last of the Winter Radishes

In the weeks since the last Lettuce update, the temperature has swung from high sixties to low twenties and back up and down again, and we’ve had some good rain. Somewhere in that time-frame, the lettuces all froze, then thawed to little limp clusters of leaves. This is sad, and if I had been clever I could probably have covered them all up and saved them for another week or two, but we’d already eaten most of what was out there, so it could have been worse.

Even with the rain/freeze combination, I have been able to bring in some radishes in the last few days. These are (probably) the last radishes of the winter, but I could be wrong because a few that were planted in the side yard, in new raised beds, are still in the ground. They just never “radished”—they are still skimpy leaves on skinny roots. The radishes that I brought in were mild and tasty, and people here were a bit sad that there weren’t more of the Muncheiner Beer radishes. Those are really good sliced thin and salted. I will have to plant more of them at the next radish-planting time.

Other survivors of the recent freeze/heat cycle are spinach and chicory, and, of course, the other root vegetables that are still out there. Parsnips, rutabagas, and tiny carrots are still doing well, sweetening in the cold and staying fresh without my having to worry about harvest and storage. When I want them, I just have to go out and pull (or dig) them up.

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