The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Growing: Brussel Sprouts


Just this morning I trekked out to the Potager and snipped a few collard leaves for lunch. I sauteed them in oil with garlic, chopped walnuts and a spiced pepper blend. Then gently folded them into some quinoa with goat cheese crumbles.

Kale and brussel sprouts in the Potager under our first snow

I’ve also been enjoying brussel sprouts. I have one more delicious harvest left to savor. I harvest them from the ground up, clipping off the lower leaves as they grow, rather than pulling the whole stalk.

One of several brussel sprout harvests

I am still harvesting kale although my supply is dwindling. I found a wonderful recipe for it – Northern Spy’s Kale Salad. I made it for Thanksgiving dinner and several times after. I rarely follow a recipe exactly and finished off a blend of carrots, parsnips and delicata squash with a touch of maple syrup. I am still harvesting carrots from the garden and enjoy them prepared in what I call “bistro style” which is simply pan-roasted on the stovetop.

“Bistro style” carrots, potatoes & onions

An honest confession: I am afraid to pull my parsnips. Every year I grow parsnips and they just do not seem big enough to pull by Fall so I leave them to over-winter but I never seem to find them again in the Spring. This year their leaves look large enough that there just may be a perfectly beautiful parsnip under there. I pulled one. It was pretty decent. I especially like them mashed, like potatoes, with garlic. My craving will overcome my fear and I will pull every last one next thaw. Any tips you might offer from your parsnip growing experiences would be greatly appreciated.

The cold frame is growing slowly. I have secondary leaves on most of the plants. I should have planted earlier (which I suspected when I finally did get around to planting), as I would now be able to enjoy some of the salad mixes. I could probably cut a little but I am trying to wait just a bit longer until the kales and collards that are growing openly in my garden are depleted. Maybe the Gourmet European Salad Mix (a blend of arugula, endive, radicchio) will have grown a few more inches by then. Hopefully, I will be eating from my cold frame experiment next month.


Our snow has melted. This photo shows the Potager now seamlessly connecting to the Woodland Edge (in foreground) and to a new bed that will continue along our new fence on the northwest side of the garden after a bit of reworking this summer.


By creating a little more space, I can plant an asparagus bed in the Spring – another new experiment – I hope you’ll join me. For now, I will be planting sprouts – indoors.


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

2 thoughts on “What’s Growing: Brussel Sprouts

  1. We are too alike Kathy…I am creating a cold frame next year but made my own with the grow bags and cover for now…and planting indoors too…I just love your potager and cannot wait until the harvest and experiments continue.

  2. My My! Here is a thought for your enrtry in the 2013 Memorial Day Weekend 2nd Annual Artist Studio Tour Brochure:
    “Wander through my garden and see my watercolors of veggies, fruits, and flowers displayed in their natural enviroment while sipping on a glass of wine with a Violet Fern fragrance and notes of kale, sprouts, garlic and a creamy texture making it perfect for art appreciation.”

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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