Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold damage; winter gems

So, here we are in the dead of winter, but I have spent some quality time in the garden over the last few weeks. Just a week ago we had a sunny, warm weekend, and I took the opportunity to remove all the damaged, brown, limp leaves from the bottom of the kale, collards, and chard plants. As a matter of fact, every large leaf on the chard was ruined, but there were new ones arising from the central growing point! The collards are quite happy with the weather, and here you see all the new growth in the center of the plant.

In addition to those leaves that were obviously dead, the broccoli plants had plenty of leaves that were living but showed great cold damage symptoms. They had turned almost white! Now broccoli usually does fine here in the winter, so these are another symptom of this strange winter: where these leaves formed and grew in unusually warm weather, then were immediately hit by bitter cold weather in the teens. New, young leaves are emerging on the broccoli, and they seem fine.

And why do I still have broccoli plants, when I picked the broccoli head months ago? For the tender side shoots that I harvested this week, along with the first of the tiny, sweet turnips, which needed to be pulled to thin the row. These two vegetables (both the leaves and root of the turnip) made an excellent garden couscous.

Finally, here is a shot of the marsh at sunrise right after this weekend's freak snowstorm.