Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January Garden Update

I am so glad that I made myself garden through the winter this year. Usually by now the garden is full of weeds and a bunch of work to prep for spring. But not this year. By planting haphazardly but fully, I have kept the weeds at bay and produced wonderful organic food for my table.

Look at this Swiss chard. Gorgeous. We love it. I chop it up for stir fries and it so delicious. Started from seed. It is simple to grow. Put some in early spring and you will not be disappointed.


My bell peppers languished in our hot summer we had but now they are producing the best peppers I have ever had. Look at the size of this baby. I am so glad I did not pull these plants out.


This week, with the sun on my back, I cleaned up some empty patches and planted more chard, bok choy, more lettuce, multi colored carrots, and some various greens. See my tomato plants? Still giving me a few a week.


I think the wall the garden backs up to retains the heat of the sun and helps keep the garden warm at night.


This robust volunteer tomato plant I decided to keep. It is so darn healthy looking that I want to see what it does. I slapped a tomato cage around it and we will see.


It has blossoms but whether they will set for tomatoes I am not sure.  Time will tell.

 This month I harvested:
2 kinds of peppers
collard greens
Swiss chard
lettuce
chives
tomatoes
Not bad for December.

Sharing with:
Tilly's Nest
Open House Party
The Mommy Club
Share Your Cup Thursday
Katherine's Corner
Show and Tell Friday
Common Ground
Home Sweet Home
Simple and Sweet Fridays
Farm Girl Friday
Weekend Whatever

36 comments:

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Wow, you had quite the harvest! I love collards and green peppers. We had collard greens with hoppin' john on New Year's Day!

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

What a great harvest!! Last summer I got more tomatoes from a volunteer plant than I did from the ones I planted.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

No not bad for December. March will be here soon and I can plant some lettuce myself. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Lottie said...

What a beautiful and productive winter garden! I planted Swiss Chard for the first time last year and it was great just steamed!

Tracy said...

Awesome!I am going to try gardening again this year. The thing I hate the worst is weeding! ;)

Kris said...

That is amazing Elaine!!!
Love it!
See you Friday!

Terry said...

Are those pumpkins real? Are they being aged before storage? Lucky you to have a winter garden. Mine is under 3 inches of snow! One of these years I'll have a cold frame...

Lianne at Hanbury House said...

I love the way the cinderella pumpkins look scattered through out. I wish my veggie garden still looked that beautiful this winter. The only stuff I still have growing in my garden are artichokes, perennial basil, carrots, and chard.

It looks like your veggies are out front. Do you ever have issues with passersby helping themselves to your bounty?

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Yes the cinderella pumpkins are real. I swear it is the chicken manure as I have attempted to grow pumpkins forever and this was the first year I was successful.

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

wow, what a great reason to go to the garden. yummy!! you all enjoy! ( :

Diana Schmied said...

Great harvest! I love the colors of those Bright Lights chard leaves against the blue of the colander! I have that chard also, and now I'm really wanting a blue colander -- such a luscious color.

Do you harvest nasturtium leaves and flowers for your salads, too? We get so hot here in the summer I never can grow nasturtiums very well. But for dropping in the low 20's or teens maybe 7 or 8 nights out of the year -- I think our growing season would be a little like yours -- but then we get a frozen spell that knocks everything out. As long as I keep things covered I seem to be able to keep chard, broccoli, collards, chives, parsley, and sorrel going. No way for any "fruiting" crops, though.

priscilla said...

Wow, Thats great you are still getting vegetables out of your garden ! Now that the holidays are over I am ready to garden again but I have a long wait being we live in the Chicago area !:)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh we are really enjoying ours too. We have loads of onions, broccoli, cauliflower abd tons of lettuce. It is so good. We didn't plant peppers and I sure wish we had, I really miss them. Your garden is doing great. Hugs, marty

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Lovely garden! What I wouldn't give to be able to have a garden year-round! I love rainbow chard. It is so gorgeous. Volunteer plants are the best, too!

Barbara F. said...

What a beautiful bounty! The cinderella pumpkin is my favorite, along with fresh Swiss chard. Yum, I like it sauteed in garlic and oil, with raisins and some pignoli nuts. Mmmm. That green pepper is huge. Would be nice to stuff, with ground beef and rice. xo

Ginger Zuck said...

Elaine, you are just amazing! I am so jealous. Your garden is beautiful. That is the prettiest swiss chard, so shiny I think I've ever seen. I cannot wait till spring. Living in a mud lolly here! Great job.

Mary Clark said...

I have to say that's amazing, I can't imagine harvesting all that yummy produce this time of year - plus keeping the weeds down, that's a win-win decision you made to garden through the winter!

Precious said...

Wow! I envy your garden. We love swiss chard also. My son gives us some when he gets his organic co-op share in the garden months here. I have never tried it in stir fry. Thanks for the new idea.

nancy said...

Good for you! My garden is buried under snow...

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I am still blown away that anyone can garden all year round..wow.

What a haul, you are so smart to have done that.

Swiss Chard is on my list for next spring.

Jen

Tilly's Nest said...

Such beautiful gardens and harvest! Thank you so much for linking up today. I can't wait to get into my own gardens. Congratulations on your successes!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Hi Elaine-
I've been reading and catching up on your blog...I've been away this past week...I feel like I've missed so much.
I love the thought of growing during the winter months. We did this last year (well, 2011) it was great fun. But quite interesting too!
This year has been somewhat mild, but very rainy! While I wish I had the veggies...I'm sort of glad we're taking a break from the garden we've been gardening since before the "big one" of 2011-- (the heart attack) Anyway--the rest has been nice, but will be glad to get the garden in come February--for potatoes and corn. I hope I'm ready then. :)
Your garden looks great. I bet you're right about the heat in the retaining wall.

Take care, Pat

Chenille Cottage said...

Hi Elaine!
I'm amazed at your winter garden. Oh, to live in sunny southern California! Your bell peppers look scrumptious. With your garden thriving it is sure to help out a bit with your grocery bill.
Enjoy all that fresh homegrown flavor, my friend!
Blessings,
Carolynn xxx

No baby yet...Still waiting.

Kerin said...

Nice!
So glad that you were able to harvest a nice little crop of veggies.

I would LOVE if I could be in the gardens now.
So, thanks for sharing with us folks that are snow-bound :)

ImSoVintage said...

How wonderful, Elaine. I would love some fresh homegrown tomatoes right about now :)
Hugs,
Laura

Debra said...

In the northeast with cold and snow, I often forget that others can grow veggies and flowers at this time and its so much fun to read about it! : )

Babajeza said...

We went to Italy for four days last week (61/2 hours drive from home) and I noticed that there is vegetabel growing in the gardens. Wow, there are places not too far south, where winter is lovely. :-)

Cindy said...

I am very impressed with your winter garden! That is one of the wonderful things about living in a warm climate, I suppose. Your volunteer tomato plant may do just as well as the others. I had a volunteer tomato plant at one house that I lived in and it came up each spring and provided us with the sweetest cherry tomatoes that I have ever eaten, it was like free candy! Only better.
I love swiss chard, and yours makes me hungry just looking at it.
Hugs, Cindy

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

I'm impressed, Elaine! It's awesome that you're gardening through the winter! Our weather is so strange and changing that winter gardening is not something I think we could do around here!

Have a great day!

Tammy

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

I am just so envious of your garden! If we had a single bit of sun, I would be right in there with you. We have had an exceptionally cold winter here, but I might try to plant some chard in pots while the trees are empty of their leaves. Another thing to drag inside when it freezes :) Great inspiration, Elaine, thanks!
xo, Andrea

Katharine Hoda said...

All i see is fresh veggies everywhere. This is the good benefits of gardening aside that it is soothing in the soul you can also feed your family with fresh organic veggies. I am into gardening too and at the moment i am crazy about my garden shed. lol

Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

Love the idea of winter gardening.

Sam I Am...... said...

Awesome!!!!

born ambitious. born imaginative. said...

We're buried under a couple of feet of snow in Maine. I'm very, very jealous of your harvest!

Tania @ Out Back said...

Your garden did very well. Cant believe the size of that pepper!

My tomatoes did better after the heat of summer passed last year. I think by the looks of my garden at the moment, I wont be planting too much more until it is cooler. Australia is cooking! I must get my big pumpkins in though so they can get established and provide me with enough for winter...

x

Lenetta Carnes said...

Hi, Great post. I found you through the blog hop. Now following you.Please stop by and say hi when you get a chance.
Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that we just started, It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Here's the link in case you want to check it out. Thanks again.http://lenettacarnes.blogspot.com/2013/01/weekly-goals-linkup-html

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