Monthly Archives: January 2010

(Books)

 

An outdoor temperature of about 2 degrees Fahrenheit this morning highlighted what a great time winter is for NOT gardening, but for reading about gardening. A lot of gardening books, new and old, end up on my bookshelves, and I’d like to note a few favorites new to my shelves last year.

(Disclaimer: I had two new books published last year, Landscaping with Fruit and The Pruning Book. I like both books very much.)

For anyone serious about vegetable growing, Eliot Coleman, gardener extraordinaire, has done it again. The Winter Harvest Handbook builds on his The New Organic Grower and Four Season Harvest, delving into innovative techniques for growing vegetables more efficiently and year ‘round, with minimum heat inputs even in northern climates.

The “aha” moment for me in reading Eliot’s method’s for year ‘round harvests was that sunlight, even this far north, is …

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(Untitled)

When I was a child, it seemed that winter vegetables were mostly peas and diced carrots, conveniently poured frozen out of plastic bags into pots of boiling water. Yuk! Winter notwithstanding, my backyard garden still offers plenty of fresh winter vegetables. Let’s have a look.

Kale, of course, looks unfazed by snow and temperatures that plummeted to near zero degrees F. Not only does it look unfazed; it also tastes very delicious.

The rest of winter’s fresh garden vegetables are not in the garden. Most are in plywood boxes stacked in out my mudroom, where temperatures usually hover just above freezing. One box houses turnips picked around the middle of December. They – Purple Top White Globe, Gold Ball, and Oasis – all look and taste as fresh as the day they were picked. (Note to myself: Don’t grow Gold Ball turnip next year; it tastes too much …

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