Looks like the winter jackets and boots are out for good...it has been rather chilly. Cold is relative, however - it's -1C (30F) right now which always feels a lot colder in November than in February.
We had a beautiful, crisp day yesterday and it was completely still - not even a slight breeze. That prompted me to get out with the camera in the morning to get some frosty shots.
Frosty Asparagus Ferns
Frosty Diable Nine Bark Seed Pods
Doesn't it look like metal shavings on a magnet?
Frosty Sweet Woodruff
Chunk of ice removed from lettuce bed Agribon
If you recall, the lettuce was frozen solid the week before last, which is why it didn't show up last Harvest Monday. This past week, we had a bit of a warm up for a couple of days and everything thawed out. Our temps had gone down to -6C (21F) and even colder if you took into account the wind chill, so I wasn't sure what condition the lettuce would be in once I pulled back the cover.
The lettuce, after sustained -6C (21F) temps - not too bad :)
I was pleased, to say the least, especially as none of the varieties are noted for being particularly cold hardy (Simpson Elite, Royal Red, Sierra MI). There was some cold damage, but mainly on the lower leaves:
The top leaves on this Simpson Elite head are perfect
The lower leaves showed obvious signs of cold damage
I decided to harvest all of the undamaged leaves and clean out the bed. The lettuce wasn't growing much at this stage and I didn't want to risk any of the healthy leaves being damaged.
One of two baskets full of lettuce
Lettuce does last an incredibly long time in the fridge when stored properly - over 2 weeks for leaf varieties and up to 3-4 weeks for romaine & Batavian types. And now that the cold cellar is actually cold - it's only a couple of degrees above fridge temp - I have lots of room to store it.
Ianto's (left); Extra Precoce Violetto (right)
That's it for the harvests this past week - I still have a few veg in the garden but I've been so busy getting ready for Christmas (I like getting all my shopping out of the way early - I can't stand Christmas crowds!) that I keep missing my window of opportunity to harvest. Yesterday, for instance, I was hoping to pick some mizuna for a salad, but by the time I went to pick it in the early evening, it was frozen solid. I have to be more on the ball this coming week & keep an eye on those temps - first bit of a warm up & I'll be out there with my bowl.
One end of season task that I did finally complete is also my least favourite (which is why I kept putting it off even though it's been on my to-do list since October): Cleaning & disinfecting all of the cell packs, trays and pots:
All ready for next year
My harvest totals this week were:
Lettuce – 1,172 grams (2.58 lbs)
Fava Beans (dried) – 476 grams (1.05 lbs)
Total for Week – 1,648 grams (3.63 lbs)
Total to Date – 213 kg (471 lbs)
To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is our host for Harvest Mondays.
Till next time…