Winter Harvest

Well, that didn’t last long. This morning, the thermometer reads 15, with a wind-chill of 2.

Yuck.

We had just enough warmth over the last few days to thaw the raised beds a little bit. Last week, the tines of the spading fork just bounced off the rock-hard frozen ground, but yesterday, I was able to dig.

Why would I want to? you might ask yourself. It’s far to early to begin the season…

Two words – Winter Carrots.

There is no sweeter carrot in the world than the one that’s been left in the ground through freeze and thaw. These were planted mid-season last year. Some are tiny, some huge. I’m not very good about thinning them, so in some places, an entire bunch is growing together. They’d never win a ribbon for their looks, but the flavor is beyond compare. Even the over-mature carrots that have split are candy-sweet. In summer, a carrot allowed to get that big is bitter and inedible.

There are also a few leeks left in the bed, but I don’t think they’re a variety that should be over-wintered. I dug a few anyway, and will see how they’ve held-up. I’ve ordered seeds for an old-fashioned winter-keeping variety to plant this season.

So now the cold is back, the ground is once again hard as iron. But there’s a little garden sunshine in a bag in my fridge to get me through to the next thaw!

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