Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Garden on December 2, 2009 - Part I

This morning dawned clear and cold. I was treated to a lovely show by the setting full moon, which I didn't take photos of - brrr too cold to stand out there fiddling with the camera. Not long after the moon set the fog started rolling in. By this time I had caffeinated myself and was better able to withstand the cold.

The leading edge of the fog coming in...

Slipping quietly into the valley...

Sneaky stuff...

Coming in high and fast and trying to obsure the sun...

When I got out to the garden a little later it had barely warmed a few degrees

But that didn't stop me from doing a photo survey of the garden. Most of the garlic is up and growing. The two silverskin varieties are the slowest to emerge.

Can you tell that I've been eating the kale? Now that the nights are cold it is especially tasty.

The chervil growing at the foot of the Lacinato kale is coming along.

The Kefe Beinwil snow peas are pretty much done producing their fall crop. They never did cover their trellis.

But look down at the bottoms of the vines, see all the new shoots coming? I wonder if these will survive the winter...

The Opal Creek Golden snap peas, wow, is that amazing? Gotta get picking...

I'm trying a new kale, Cavolo Laciniato. There's just a couple of plants to trial. I haven't actually harvested any yet, but soon. It's the one brassica in the garden that the aphids are attracted to at the moment. You can see a couple patches of them on the big leaf on the right. I suspect that means that this is going to be a tasty kale, the aphids are very descriminating, they prefer the best veggies in the garden.

The broccoli plants are looking rag-tag at the moment. I've picked at least 4 or 5 nice shoots from each branch. Every time I pick a shoot I leave one bud behind to form the new shoot. The new shoots get progressively smaller and I eventually remove the entire shoot, leaving no renewal bud behind.

When new shoots can't form at the top of the plants it stimulates growth from lower down. I trim away the weakest of those lower shoots and leave the best ones to renew the plant. It's amazing how a small and unpromising little sprout can grow big and fat, producing another crop of shoots.

The neighboring bed doesn't have as much to show. The basil is not happy with the cold and needs to hit the compost pile.

I've not yet gotten around to removing the last tomato plants. It's difficult for me when there are still tomtoes on the plants.

But the favas are sprouting! I have high hopes for these early producing varieties.

Pretty good germination so far, it looks like the seed corn maggots might give me a break this year.

By the time I had finished taking my photographs the sun had reemerged and it started to warm up a bit.


  1. It has been getting increasingly cold here as well although we are over due for cold weather/snow anyway. Great shots of the fog, the area you are in is beautiful. The Opal Creek peas look like a keeper, great yield that's for sure.

  2. Everything looks so good and your kale is tall. I always enjoy your gardening posts, and have probably already mentioned how nice your garlic bed looks with the rocks. I must say that I am a bit surprised at how cold it gets in your area I thought that you would have a few more weeks before real cold set in.

  3. A morning in the life of Michelle. I love it! Your views are spectacular. That's a LOT of snap peas! I hope you enjoy them. You will have to tell me about your irrigration system one of these days. I know so little about them and will need to have one in place next year....all of the hand watering that I did this fall was not fun.

  4. Oh wow that is an amazing view, and the garden looks pretty good too. :)

  5. So much colder than here, but we still have some similar things. My favas and garlic are in similar stages of growth. But, I just put in the seedlings of kale, cabbages, and broccolis that I started at the end of August in mid-October, so they're much further behind. I can't grow many leafy veggies here in the hot months.

    Your mountain and fog views are spectacular. What a nice way to start each day.

  6. I love your view. When I was growing up I lived in the mountains of CO and had beautiful views down the valley and out onto the plains. We didn't get fog that often but when we did, it was so beautiful reaching its fingers into each valley. I miss that.

  7. Dan, Thanks, the scenery around here is very photogenic! This is the first time I've grown the Opal Creek peas and I'm very pleased with them so far. They are vigorous and pretty vines, the peas aren't as sweet as some snap peas I've tried, but they're sweet enough for my taste and have a nice crunch. If they make it through the winter to produce a spring crop I'll save some seeds.


    Mr H., The kale has grown, hasn't it! You can see how the Lacinato kale got one of it's other common names - Palm Tree kale.

    The rocks... I try to use what I have to hand and there's lots of rocks around here!

    It does get cold around here, especially at night. When we start getting winter storms we often get snow on the peaks, but it's too low where I'm at to get any.


    Thomas, I really can't complain...

    Fortunately the snap peas aren't all filling out at once, I pick a small bowlful every few days. They're coming in slowly enough that we've managed to eat them all. If there's too much I'll make pickles - oh yum.

    I have a real love/hate relationship with my irrigation system. It's lot's of work to install and maintain, but less work and more effective than hand watering. I couldn't keep my garden going without it in the dry climate here.


    Prue, the view is wonderful and I appreciate it more every day that I get to live here.


    Christina, I do envy your warmer winter days and nights, but am not crazy about the hot summers... Kales seem to tolerate the summer heat that we get, but I don't eat very much of it then. I like to give it a good head start so that it's full size by the time the cold weather sets in. The chickens get a lot of it in the summer so it's not really going to waste.

  8. I would love some seeds if the crop is successful, maybe we can do a swap. I have some interesting tomatoes from Wild Boar Farms & red celery that come to mind at the moment. I am also planning on picking up Tiger's Eye & Bumble Bee beans and will have extra in the pack.

  9. Dan, be sure to remind me when the time comes, I'll be happy to share but I'm sure to forget! I love the names of those beans, tempting...


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