The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


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What’s Growing: C-C-C-Kholorabi

The sun was out today and the temperature reached 30 F so this sleepy bear roused, went outside and puttered about the garden – frozen though it yet is. It was a spontaneous distraction from my daily list of things to do, but I allowed it considering that there’s more snow storms on the way.

The Potager in February

The Potager in February

Last year I maintained a makeshift cold frame – diligent about keeping the snow off the old windows. This year it has proven to be a challenge. It is buried, and has been buried, for most of our Winter. Today I yet again tried to chisel off crusty, icy snow. A few days back I actually broke one of the windows (I am not the sharpest tool in the shed), by banging on it with a broom handle in an attempt to break up the ice. I broke a lot more than I bargained for! Fortunately I had a spare window in the shed (along with those “uh, very dull tools”) that I put in place instead, but of course we have had more snow. Today I used a heavy duty plastic trowel and scraped and scooped (instead of banging) – oh, it made me long to dig in the dirt! The windows show, but the frame they are resting on is still buried in the snow. Still, I wanted the sun to seep through those frozen window panes very, very badly.

My buried cold frame.

My buried cold frame.

Upon revealing the panes, I got a view inside. To my surprise, a Kohlrabi! Isn’t she beautiful? Can you make her out – the round belly just center of those GREEN leaves? I just cannot get over how AMAZING it is to grow things! Here, where we have had stretches of well below zero temperatures, there is green and by god, Kohlrabi!

Kohlrabi!

Kohlrabi!

I know I do not use this cold frame to its potential. I am sort of  a hack gardener. Read about a real professional who knows how to deal with a cold climate here. Honestly, I really do not know what the heck I am doing but if I can grow a Kohlrabi in this Winter, so can anyone! I am very much an experimental gardener. I read a lot, and research a lot, but I forget most of it. When it comes down to it, my guiding hand is usually “what the heck, let’s try it.” So, here I am experimenting with my makeshift cold frame for the second Winter. I have beets (alive!), parsnips (alive!) and Kohlrabi(#*!) in it this year. Not sure what I will attempt next Winter – perhaps some Escarole? My dream is to actually harvest something in January or February. It will come true one day if I keep trying.

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