23 December 2011

Christmas dinner harvest

There's a hard frost forecast for tonight and tomorrow, so just now I seized the window of opportunity of a mildish spell (a bracing 0°C) to dig up some winter vegetables for our Christmas dinner. I got a big haul of sunchokes and a good handful of Cavolo nero from the barnyard and some carrots, sage and parsley and the last of the beets from the greenhouse.

The Cavolo nero (black Tuscan kale) has been the surprise hit of the winter garden. It has a sweetish flavour and has been holding up well outside to the frosts we've had so far. It's good steamed or used in a stir-fry. Most of the other brassica crops did very badly in this year's cold and then very dry late spring, but this kale managed to survive all of that. I'm impressed by its resilience and will definitely grow it again next year.


Diana Studer said...

hmmmm DRY late spring and an Italian name. Perhaps it would survive our hot dry summer? Happy Christmas, enjoy a well earned dinner!

Lisa from Iroquois said...

When you've got time I'd like to hear more about your sunchokes. We harvested a few "wild" ones in the field around Thanksgiving (October) and I was quite intriqued by them. Do you grow them in the greenhouse or a designated part of the garden (leaving some to come back next season) or are they wild and you just mark the spot to go back to?
We got a dusting of snow last night, I hope you did as well, for that magical "white christmas" feeling on Christmas Eve/Morning.

Esther Montgomery said...

I've come to wish you a very happy Christmas - but it feels as if I've arrived in just in time for harvest festival!

(And a happy New Year and brilliant 2012!)


Quinn said...

I wonder if that is the variety of kale that grows in Portugal...I've tried and tried to make caldo verde but it never tastes the way I remember it. Where did you find the seeds?

Amanda said...

Happy Christmas everyone!

Quinn - you can get the seeds from Baker Creek (http://rareseeds.com/nero-di-toscana-cabbage.html).

Lisa - I was given some tubers by a friend and they've got a corner of the barnyard to themselves. No snow yet, but it looks like there will be snow tomorrow, which will make it feel much more like Christmas!

Quinn said...

Thanks, Amanda - and Merry Christmas to you and yours! :)

Lisa said...

Love that kale!

Hope you and your family have a lovely holiday season, and that 2012 brings you new adventures and happiness.