Archive for the ‘Winter Veg’ Category

Lactuca – New Site, So Close


Lactuca - New Site

I’m getting quite a few questions about the prospective new Lactuca Urban Farm site, so figured I’d share where things are at. The quick answer: it’s in Inglewood and we’re in the process of negotiating the lease. Although nothing’s a done deal, we’re very near the end of the process. Perhaps I need to back up a bit.

Travis and I started looking at prospective farm sites some time ago. Despite being totally sold on the feasibility of backyard operations, we decided to scale via

Episode 51 – Cold Frame Build


I built my first cold frame back in March of 2011. It has undoubtedly changed the way I grow food. I’m now up to 8 frames under lids, with another 6 soon to be built for the 2013 season – the majority for market. This vid is simply a look at how we’re building them now, after much homework in old-school books about how the Dutch and French used to rock this technology, and much debate between Travis and I about the

Episode 32 – Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes


Eagle Creek Seed PotatoesIt being February and quite possibly a particularly early spring, I was contemplating my annual seed potato order from Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes when it dawned on me that perhaps I should go check them out. So I did. I knew they’d be filling my order in the next couple months, so they had to be busy prepping for that busy season – which was exactly the case. More seasonal food action that you perhaps wouldn’t think is going on up north

Garden Greens…in January


Here’s something I wasn’t expecting. Back when building and planting cold frames I had written numerous times how I’d like to see a harvest from them in December. I thought that might be bold. I wondered if I’d have to eat my words. Then in early December, as my garden fork bounced off the frozen soil nearby, it slipped easily into the soil protected by the cold frame, and I dug up some carrots. Mission accomplished. But it didn’t end there.

In this strange spell of warm

Episode 25: Cellar Food


Strange. It’s mid-December, the soil’s frozen, plants toast – but counterintuitively, this time of year is one of the best times of year food-wise. The freezers are full of a variety of meats, fruits, stocks, lard, and more. The wine cellar’s full of apple wines, ciders, and dry cured pork and game, while the root cellar is an exciting world of veg – from squashes to parsnips, potatoes, beets, carrots, rutabagas, leeks, shallots, and more. It is a time of year

November Garden Greens


The snow is falling, it’s -3C, with -20C in the forecast later this week. And yes, still harvesting garden veg. Was last year too. Not because I have a greenhouse, hoop houses, or even stuff under cold frames [well.. I do, but not for this stuff]. Just planted cold hardy veg in August and let them tough out the elements. Even if the bounty is very limited, it makes the winter without element-protected garden veg short when December through February are the

Root Veg Harvest 2011


Harvesting root veg demarcates the border between fall and winter for me. Since September I’ve been watching the weather, waiting for the cold to come that would force my hand and make me get the produce into the cellar. It was an especially fun game this year with a remarkably temperate fall. I feel like I got away with something harvesting in early November, when many pulled their root crops back in September.

I have to focus on

The Last [Root Cellar] Supper


I’m out. April 16th will mark the 2011 date that I ran out of 2010 garden veg in the root cellar. Turns out in one meal, I ran out of potatoes, carrots, and beets – all at the same time.

Things may have been able to hold out longer, but quality was definitely starting to suffer. In best shape were the carrots – still crisp and earthy. The beets had held on incredibly, but recently hit a wall and cratered in quality quickly. Perhaps the

Carrot Storage: Washed Beats Unwashed


I’ve had cats. One of the carrots looks like a carrot, and the other like something scooped from a litter box. In the weird little world I live in, this is important research. All of the root cellaring books – including the most widely respected ones – advise not washing root veg before storage. A major no-no. So I intended on not washing my root veg. Cause I’m a good listener. But knowing that root cellaring books are written in climates warmer than ours, with humidity

Flax Aioli & Carrot Slaw


This is long over due. Long, long, long overdue. I have come to feel very strongly about winter slaws. Despite all my root cellar bliss, I thought that the one thing I’d long for is salad in the dead of winter, but honestly, I am still diggin’ the slaws.

This one is carrot from the cellar with a touch of cabbage, and a flax-oil/duck-egg aioli – finished with flax for some texture variation. It was tweaked with a little cider vinegar and