before the ground freezes

seed garlic ready for planting

Winter is coming and I’m not quite ready. The last few mornings, the frozen crust on our fields has become a little more significant – a warning that pretty soon there will be no mid-day thaw. The last few weeks, I’ve been working on the list of things that must be done before the ground becomes an iceberg – got the garlic planted and mulched(!), put up low hoops over the parsley beds, dug the last of the potatoes. This week I’m hoping to use the warmest hours of each day to harvest greens, dig up some carrots and leeks, pull irrigation lines out of the field, put extra row covers on the spinach, and attempt to finally finish building the doors on the hoophouse. 

Despite some pretty cold nights, field plantings of spinach, arugula and parsley are still going strong.  The hoophouse is planted with mustard greens, spinach and kale – but this is pretty small-scale – just enough to supply our own kitchen and make a weekly restaurant delivery.  I have 5 varieties of kale growing under two layers of row covers. I know I can read the seed catalogs to find out which varieties are the most cold-hardy, but I wanted to see for myself. Can you guess which variety is thriving so far? Siberian.