Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Around the Fall Garden


Well, I guess we are about to find out just how well this fall/winter gardening thing works. Snow fell all day Sunday and Monday. The photo above was taken Monday morning, and I checked in on the gardens and took the rest of the photos yesterday afternoon. Shall we take a peek inside?



Everything looks good, well protected, and happy. This is a huge experiment for us this year, and we honestly have no idea how it will go. So far, all is going well, and each day that I harvest food from these beds I offer gratitude. We are feeling so blessed that we are still harvesting food from the backyard well into November.


The cold frame was covered in snow, I swept it off so the sun could do it's work. Most of the food has been harvested from the cold frame, there is some lettuce left, and a row of beets. We ate from the cold frame first as most of the greens were too tall. If they are touching the glass of the cold frame they will suffer frost damage, so it made sense to eat this bed first.


The back beds are now tucked in, and sleeping soundly under leaves and snow. As you can see, the nettles didn't get cut back. I know we will have a few warmer days ahead and this will be the first thing I do. I did get the raspberry bushes cut back, but didn't manage to get any straw on them. Again, as soon as it warms up, they will get a layer of straw that will keep them well protected for the winter.



I wasn't sure how it would feel getting myself dressed up in winter gear to head outside to harvest food for dinner. It wasn't that bad. I gave it a bit of thought, and decided that Reece and I would do our nature walk first, and then before heading inside I would harvest. I knew after walking, chasing Reece, and pulling him in the sled I would be warm, and the few minutes it would take to harvest wouldn't cool me off too much. I was right, it was perfect, and I think that will be the routine for the winter. Our first harvest in the snow was a success...a little kale, Swiss chard and carrots. I really can't tell you just how delicious, and satisfying that food was.

52 comments:

  1. Oh my word Kim, this is amazing! Snow and fresh greens? Simply wonderful.
    You know this girl from the subtropics is having a hard time getting my head around this 😉

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    1. Thank you. I think it is pretty amazing too :) I am still in a bit of shock that it is all actually working.

      Haha, that is too funny my friend. xo

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  2. Fresh garden goodness at this time of year - fantastic!! I've been thinking about building a cold frame, maybe I need to put some real effort behind the idea.
    I wanted to let you know the hat arrived here yesterday. THANK YOU so much for knitting it for my friend and thank you for the lip balm as well. You are very sweet and your kindness is much appreciated!!

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    1. It is pretty fantastic! You should, so rewarding.

      That is wonderful to hear, thanks for letting me know. Happy to help out, it is a tough journey she is on, and if this brings a little light to her day I am happy to do it. And you are welcome, hope you like the lip balm.

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  3. Your gardens look like ours... aside from the food growing of course! LOL! But we did manage to get everything cut back, tucked in and mulched before the snow so as the gardens rest, so do we. Next year! can'T wait to give winter gardening a try. :-)

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    1. That is great to hear. I think you will love the winter gardening my friend. I wasn't so sure of it, but now with the snow, and harvesting fresh food from the backyard...there is no going back.

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  4. look at your snow! you lucky girl :) I'm glad that your winter garden is doing well and the work you put into it in early fall is paying off.

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    1. We have a ton, and there is a ton falling as we speak. Another 6cm should be on the ground before midnight.

      It is paying off, and it feels so very good!

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  5. your winter harvest is wonderful !!! i am so jealous of all the beautiful snow.

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    1. Thank you. It is beautiful right now, and we are enjoying it. Come February I will be ready to send it all to you :)

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  6. It's really magical, isn't it to see all of those leafy green treasures amidst the snow. Hats off to you guys! We've done a bit of cold weather gardening every year, but we don't have a good routine or set up yet. It always seems like, come August, we can't imagine more planting and gardening amidst the preserving and putting by. I sense that this year will be the year, though. No new babies to put a cramp in our gardening adventures :)

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    1. Magical describes it perfectly Coco :)

      That is exactly how we have felt. We have made small attempts over the years to extend the season, but always felt like we were done, and ready to pack it in and just enjoy the hibernation period that winter brings. And if I am being honest, a part of me felt the same way this year, but I had to give it a go. And now, so very happy I did. It is wonderful, and that food harvested in the snow, was so darn good!

      Can't wait to see you guys go at it next year :)

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  7. My goodness Kim - it's all looking so green still!!! My husband just happened to be standing next to me while I was looking at your pictures, I think this post has given him food for thought.....

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    1. I know, it is amazing. I am so pleased it is all working out so well. Fingers are crossed it keeps going so well.

      Ahh, that is just what you wanted :)

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  8. This post is where it seems your Winter garden has really come into it's own, fresh greens with all that snow just seems amazing.

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    1. I am still giddy over it Sally. It is amazing!

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  9. That is incredible- I am more than a little jealous! I need a how to! We use similar type wet up for chicken tractors and could probably easily be converted into greenhouses:) wow way to go!!

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! If you want to know more about it, the book I referenced is called The Year Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour. I highly recommend it, has everything you need to get started. Have fun!

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  10. Amazing Kim! What a great gardener you are!

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  11. Nice work! Oh my gosh, that snow is so beautiful ~

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    1. Thanks Carlin. You should see the snow falling right now, we will be a little snowed in tomorrow I think. I can't remember the last time we had this much snow in November.

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  12. I am so gardening next year Kim- get ready I am fired up!!!! So wonderful that you can still harvest a few veggies in your winter garden, smart with the coverings.

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    1. Whooohoooo!!!!! It is wonderful Camilla, and so very rewarding. Can't wait to check in on your gardens next year.

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was wondering about your winter garden. I'm like many of the previous commenters, I feel even more motivated to give it a try next year. You are a very inspirational person (and gardener) Kim.

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    1. No problem. I hadn't shared much because really nothing was changing from week to week, but with the snow and colder temperatures this week, and our first harvest in the snow is seemed exciting :)

      I definitely think you should, it is awesome! Thank you Matt, that is very kind of you to say.

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  14. Your cold frames are really coming in handy, everything looks great Kim. I am hoping to get a little kale in the pot, but other than that my gardening is on hold until January when I need to plant peas and spinach. Enjoy.

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    1. Thanks Tracey, you know it will all be very much enjoyed :)

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  15. Yay to winter gardening! I love your row covers and such lush bounty - veggies!

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    1. You can say that again! Thank you!

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  16. Melbourne, Australia has a reputation of having cold winters by Australian standards but nothing compared to yours! Your garden beds and cold frames simply fascinate me, as do all your wintery photographs. I have only ever experienced snow on three occasions in my lifetime - and only for a few hours!

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    1. So glad you find it all so fascinating. You should see the snow falling right now, there is a ton of it, and it is cold. I am happily tucked inside with hot tea, and will be heading to sit in front of the fire and read shortly.

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  17. Amazing!! You and Justin are wonderful!!

    Our weather is so unpredictable, isn't it?! Last Tuesday it was so warm my kiddies were running around outside with just sweaters and bare-heads, this week they are wearing full snow suits and every inch of skin is covered! LOL...Welcome to Canada :) I love it!

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    1. Thanks Carrie! It is crazy, especially this November weather this year. I was thinking we would see the green grass again, but after the snow that fell yesterday, I am not so sure.

      I love it too!

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  18. Oh I'm so glad it all worked out so well and that you have found a rhythm for harvesting in the cold weather!

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  19. I'm thinking that food would be extra nice, because it's a treat you haven't had previously. I have been told that carrots are sweeter after a frost. Are they sweeter with the snow too Kim? Great job you guys have done! Enjoy xo

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    1. They certainly are Julie :) Everything is definitely extra nice, there isn't it a lot of food out there, but there is enough for a little taste every day or so, and that is absolutely wonderful!

      Thank you. xo

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    1. It does, doesn't it? Kinda surreal :)

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  21. It looks so great, Kim! I cannot wait to hear more about this fall/winter gardening adventure! You definitely have me thinking about it next year! :) xo

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    1. Thanks Shel. I will keep sharing here and there throughout the winter, and keep you posted on how it is going. You guys could easily transform some of your raised beds to tunnels :)

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  22. oh my I love your tunnels, they are fantastic!

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    1. Thank you, we are pretty smitten too :)

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  23. Oh wow! I was wondering how your garden was doing. I might have to look in to this type of gardening later. That last picture really got to me. Freshly harvested in the snow. That must be magical. Be well.

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    1. It was pretty magical! I wasn't sure how I would like it, but I love it!

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  24. Oh my goodness your fall garden is looking AMAZING!! I pretty much harvested the last of everything in the past couple of days. I made too many mistakes for our winter garden ( I wrote all about them today) but I feel that for sure next year I can do better. I managed to freeze 5 more bags of kale before the snow arrived, we had a lot of fall garden pests which I'm bummed about. I think we'll get some awesome overwintering though! I really planned and mulched many plants for an early spring harvest. We took down our polytunnel greenhouse for the winter now. I think low tunnels will work so much better, and cold frames, but we never ended up building any this year. I look forward to seeing more of your winter garden. There's something so wonderful about fresh greens in a tunnel in the snow :)

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    1. Thank you Isis, that means a lot coming from you, my friend. That is all we can do...learn from the mistakes and do better next time around. There definitely some lessons for me this year, and things I will change for next year, but overall I am pleased with how things are going.

      The low tunnels are working very well, although as we speak the winds are blowing at 100km per hour, and while they are holding their own, it is pretty crazy out there, and we have had to go out a few times to secure the plastic.

      Hoping over to see what you have learned from your mistakes :)

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  25. I had to come back for a look to see how your cold frame growing went! Looks like you had some amazing success! I can't believe all that green goodness surrounded by all that snow. Mind blowing.

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    1. We did, it was a great season, and we managed to eat from the cold frame and tunnels until the beginning of winter, and then a few voles found our food. It then became a race to see who could eat it faster. Next winter we will be ready for them :)

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