Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Field Status

Flowering cabbages and kales are the way to ensure off season floral influence in a winter garden. Lee planned this splash of color back in summer time when she first sowed their seeds....rewarding now during the season of puddles, plants frosted to death and carpets of green grass. When the sun hits the purple of these plants, not even a rainbow could draw your eyes away from their deep purple glow. Immediately to the right of the plants in this photo is the recently graded foundation area for the upcoming barn re-construction....chances are the purple cabbages could be in danger if they fall in the path of construction!

Broccoli frosted! Sometimes it gets too darn cold out here in Sonoma County even for the cold hardly crops. Brassica family plants tend to take the frost with more ease than their flowers....that portion which we so desire as edible including broccolis and cauliflowers. A frosted floret may turn translucent, brown or yellow, and quite simply ugly and for the most part inedible. Eventually it will rot and die off. It is unfortunate that many of the tasty brassica florets have been hit by frost, but others have not. This is where the benefit of crop diversity kicks in. Some lose and others win.

And sweet peas have emerged in time for the Christmas Farm Report. Thank goodness care was taken to sow them at the appropriate moment in fall...exactly when this was I am unsure as I was absent, but perhaps late October to early November? These tiny seedlings are located front and center right out the backside of the farm stand for easy harvest access and full consumer appreciation. A second spring sowing will occur right next to them for an extended harvest and bloom time. I think many of us fell in love with the sweet flowers last spring if we weren't already. I know I certainly cut and sold a ton and look forward to seeing what the season to come will bring. We did save the seeds from last season's crop, of course, so variety and beauty ought to be comparable to last season.

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