Monday, November 21, 2011

Sweet Young Carrots

We're having a mild November here in the southern highlands of Appalachia. Violets are blooming in the backyard and chickweed is out and very edible. Dandelions have acquired new fresh growth and it's damp and warmish like middle spring.

I went out late last week to think the winter-over greens--the spinach, lettuces, kale and chard that will be fat and sweet in late February. On a whim--and because it was a lovely day--I wondered back to the big summer garden to check on the strawberry runners and cut the last of the horehound for the season.

And there they were.

I had planted carrots as a companion plant for the cucumbers and hadn't been what you'd call thorough in thinning them out. The cuke vines are long gone and the cold-snap earlier this month fried the last of the heirloom tomatoes. So the beautiful, feathery fronds of the carrot tops were so alive, so fresh.

Who said gardening is a summer-time activity? As we explore old ways of lengthening the seasons, we are finding ourselves eating fresh veg out of the garden for almost 12 months out of the year.

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