Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Update

Frozen in mid drip overnight, water collects on Brussels Sprouts leaves. Pine needles appear to make a stem in nature's frozen flower form.
Fingers crossed, the Brussels Sprouts will be of a decent size to harvest by December 25th. I noticed today, how beautifully ice shimmered on it's purple leaves, the plants prostrate now, their bodies hanging over the side of the back raised bed as if they have had enough. "Harvest me and get it over with" they seem to say, like some wilting diva, finished and fainting.

"Well soon", I console..."but not quite yet. I've got a bit of pancetta to fry you in Christmas Day, and when you are sautéed almost  fork tender, a few added dried cranberries will sweeten your taste.  Hang on, don't go all weak on me yet".

Peeling back the plastic hoop cover, the last of the beets waited. Red glossy Bulls Blood leaves and root went into the Greek Salad tonight, as did Blankoma, boiled, peeled and sliced.
I love cooking with white beets, no staining of fingers and bleeding on counter tops. Blankoma has just as much flavor as any other variety; next year I will grow both of these again but in another bed as this one still has traces of leaf miner from adding a mulch of infested birch leaves. Don't make that mistake!

The coming of winter seems to have thrown a bit of a blanket over the whole gardening experience so I need to try harder to be inspired. Today was a skies, no rain, frozen hard cold ground to walk on, no was uplifting being out there again. We put wire protection around the trees and shrubs mice and rabbits like best, but heh..haven't seen a rabbit in ages so guess the fox or bobcat has them hunted down too far to recover.

The front cold frame covered raised bed is still growing well, Swiss Chard glowing in the afternoon sun, red mustard greens at it's feet. The latter was new to me last year...a green not bothered by insects and extremely versatile in a salad or stir fry, spicy, peppery and cold hardy.
It's building up to Christmas here at our house, days slipping by quickly. If you celebrate, I expect it is the same at your home. So, just in case I do not get to blog before the 25th, we sincerely wish you all a Buon Natale, and pray that Peace, like your garden, will grow and prosper in the coming year.

Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas


  1. And I hope you have a Lovely Merry Christmas with sprouts as well.

  2. Good morning Brenda, what a great post to inspire visitors to grow their own for Christmas!

    Wonderful images and chat... yep days pasing quickly here too. Thank-you, wishing you a very Merry Christmas too and all my very best wishes for 2012 - with bumper crops :-)

  3. Wow I just love your picture of the Brussels Sprouts! What a neat shot! Also, very interested in the white beets! We both love beets and it's appealing not to have all the staining!

    Yes, it seems Dec. 25 is creeping up fast! I really like your Christmas picture and we wish you a wonderful Christmas too. Thanks for sharing all of your creativity throughout the year and Happy Healthy 2012 to you and yours.

  4. That picture of the ice on the Brussels Sprouts is amazing - just the sort of thing I like!

    I'm lookig forward to following your blog because I reckon we will probably find lots in common...

  5. The picture of the ice droplet on the brussel sprout leaf is so beautiful and complex. Unfortunately we never did get much going in the fall vegetable garden this year so all we have is lettuces and some chard.

    Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!!

  6. The sprouts are going well here too, thankfully.
    Good to see that your cold frame is working

  7. Hi Brenda.
    Oh how I envy your wintry harvest - white beets that don't bleed , mm curious. I so hope to grow purple sprouts next year and I blame you for that. Swiss chard is great, it seems to survive the cold weather.

    Well I do hope we see another post before Christmas, maybe showcase that Christmas tree of yours :) a change from the outdoors, don't you think.

  8. Dear Bren, Happy Holidays to you and yours too! I love that first photograph . . . Beautiful! I am envious of your yummy veggies. Yes, may Peace fill our world someday. Blessings to you. Carol

  9. We grew blankoma too and a yellow variety too. Another one that leaves hands clean.

  10. This is our first year trying to grow some greens in the winter. I'm thinking I sowed most too late since they are still small. Sounds like a hoop house like you have is the way to go. Those beets are amazing! I hope to have some like those one day. Good to know about the white beets, I've never seen them.
    Happy Christmas to you!

  11. I agree with Sweetbay, that opening shot is both beautiful and complex. It has been great to get to know you and your garden this year. Your enthusiasm for growing vegetables is contagious and I have learned a lot from my visits. Have a wonderful holiday! All the best to you and your family. Enjoy those homegrown Brussels sprouts On Christmas day!

  12. Jeeesh! I did this the first day I saw it but it obviously didn't go through - I will repeat!
    What a glorious confection of images and words. Thank you thank you thank you!

  13. Best wishes to you too this Christmas season. That first picture is wonderful, I have no idea what I'm looking at but the colours are marvelous.

  14. What an adorable property you have! Boy, do I miss gardening.

    I received your inquiry re: the agetofu. Will write again once holiday and lingering illness are history.

    Merry Christmas!

  15. you found time to do such a beautiful posting right at Christmas is beyond me. You are a star!! Merry Christmas to you both.