Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Never Too Late to Write About the Garden

Cold Frame in Raised Bed with Choi, Tatsoi, Beets and Mustard. Photo by Ken Januski.

It seems that I spend less and less time writing about the garden on this blog but it is still an important part of our life. I built a cold frame at least 15 years ago based on plans from a booklet from Storey Publishing. Since then I've replace the windows on top numerous times. But this year I finally had to break down and replace the thoroughly rotted pine frame. I even painted that and repainted the windows.

The raised bed that it sits in is 6'x8' and it takes up most of the bed. So it's fairly large. And yet when I take photos it always seems puny. So much time and expense for so little reward?, I ask myself. But it is always worth it. When the world seems cold and gray, at least here in the northeast, it's nice to be reminded that green, or in this case red as well, things are still growing. I'm not sure if we'll harvest any of this before spring. If we don't it will most likely go to seed, except for the beets at the far end. But I hate to pick anything until it gets as big as it's going to.

Even when everything has been picked though it's still a place for early plantings in spring and for moving out transplants from inside. So soon enough it will pay off the cost in time and money spent this fall and then give us profits, of many sorts, for years to come.

Red Russian Kale in Raised Bed. Photo by Ken Januski.

We started growing kale before it became trendy. In fact it's still unbelievable that the nearby chain grocery store has a big billboard for a kale-based drink. I originally started growing it mainly because it's so indestructible and will last into winter. I guess the squirrels think so too as yesterday I found one sitting down and chomping away on the leaves. (I wasn't happy!). But since I started growing it years ago I've discovered raw kale salad. So some of this will probably be harvested soon and will go into salads, kale pestos and other meals.

We don't have the cleanest winter garden but that's not due totally to laziness. I've also found that birds scour the plants for food. So you never know what small insects on the plants will provide at least some food for some of our birds.

I always think that I'll get around to art based on our garden but it still hasn't happened. But you never know. Those kale plants certainly do have intriguing shapes..................


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi Ken,

Your greens are a lovely December sight.

Merry Christmas.


Ken Januski said...

Thanks Ellen,

Merry Christmas to you as well! Though late fall started off colder than usual here now we're back to 50 and 60 degree weather - a sloppy winter as you say.

I guess only time will tell if it eventually turns cold again. I just started looking through seed catalogs yesterday. It always seems the perfect thing to do at this time of year.