Archives for posts with tag: Kale

 There are always some vegetables that survive the winter, especially this last mild one, like onions missed at harvest time and kale if it has been protected. Along with cubed tofu, these will make a great spring miso soup. 

Today will be the last time at Fyris Market in Uppsala this year.

There is still a little bit of scraggly kale, broccoli, leeks, scallions, swiss chard, pumpkins (several kinds), sauerkraut, sour carrots, dill pickles, and miso.

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Next time will be in April after the blistery cold has past.

While other parts of the world freeze, the weather here has been very mild. In fact, the southern part of Sweden is still officially in a state of autumn. It’s soggy and muddy in the garden, so not much is getting done except for some digging on the few frosty days we’ve had and carpentry.

There are still a few greens still to be harvested.

Leeks

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Kales

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Chard

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Parsley

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But, It looks like snow today.

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And the weather is supposed to turn freezing cold. We may get a proper winter after all.

I can do some more digging and rockery as ground freezes.

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A couple more herb beds.

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And then get back into winter carpentry. The portal got some shelving these last few days.

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The warmer nights with no frost didn’t last very long. Last night I was awakened at 0300 by a cold breeze coming through the ajar window. Sure enough it was freezing again, so I got up and spent the next hour covering crops and yesterdays cementing.

Surprisingly the tomatoes survived but only barely.

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Today I am picking all the rest of the tomatoes, pumpkins and maize so that I won’t have to do any more covering and uncovering, except for the daily cement work.

One thing that is good about the freeze is that it kills off the bugs and larvae on the kale and cabbages.

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Actually there are lots of good things about a freeze.

While the winter is still in the process of ending here in Sweden, I can reminisce about my two weeks in Seattle. It was spring, the early flowers where in full bloom, and because of the coastal climate, many vegetables can thrive all winter.

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Curbside Gardening

Waking early due to jet lag, I took many long walks veiwing front yards and curbside gardens etc, getting more
and more enthused by the mini vegetable gardens.

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Trees

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Topiary

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And flowers

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Notice the rosmary bush under the magnolia in the picture above. There seems to be more and more edibles in the front yards and curbside gardens than before.

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Peas already coming up.

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This kale was bundled up for the winter – probably unnecessarily. I also saw plenty of chard, broccoli, parsley etc that seemed to have weathered the winter very nicely.

Back in Sweden we have about 4 or 5 months of non growing season, when we have to rely on our root cellar, pickles, preserves and store bought, imported ‘fresh’ vegetables.

With snow on the ground you can see tracks of all the nighttime activity in the garden. The wildlife use the garden as a playground as well as a source of food.

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The rabbits (brown hares) have been trying to find a way in to nibble at an elderberry seedling covered with a wire bushel basket.

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Young fruit trees must have a chicken wire tube around the base also, for protection from the hungry rabbits and deer (roe deer).

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The deer don’t eat the cypresses but use them for rubbing their horns and marking their territory turning them into skeletons in the process, so they get chicken wire tubes too. We have moose, elk and wild swine in the area also, but they don’t come to the garden so far.

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Inside this burlap wrap is a mulberry bush. Someday it will hopefully be a giant mulberry tree. In the meantime it too needs protection from the animals. It is, however, a plant better suited for a warmer clime, so it gets added protection from the cold dry winds of winter.

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They don’t look much for the weather but these leeks are still edible. They are covered with a chicken wire cage because the rabbits like them too. The kales get such treatment as well.

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I got this birch tree from the horticulture school in Enköping. The rootball was rather small and I planted it this fall. It needs to be tied in for a few years to keep it stable in the wind, so that the roots can get established.

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And last but not least, the wellpond has a sheep wire fence around it. This time it is to protect the wildlife (including kids) from falling in and getting frozen wet or drowning.

We don’t normally celebrate Thanksgiving day in Sweden. There is a thanksgiving day (the second sunday of october called tacksägelse), but it goes by unnoticed.

I have come to think of it as a wonderful occasion to get family and friends together, to eat a fancy meal and be thankful for everything, especially the harvest. Any date between the swedish and american holidays or even later is fine.

We make turkey, stuffing, relish, kale salad, gravy and pumpkin pie. Someday I’ll make a recipe page for everything, but in the meantime I’ll describe how I make stuffing and cook the turkey. Nowdays I buy a turkey fillet and leave the rest of the bird to the butcher hoping he will use and compost it properly.

You’ll need:
– turkey fillet
– whole grain bread
– onions
– apples
– mushrooms
– basil, thyme, oregano
– oil
– clay roasting pot (schlemmertopf)

And how to do it:
– soak clay pot while preparing the rest
– dice onions
– cut bread into cubes
– cube apples
– cut mushrooms same size
– saute onions in iron pot
– add bread to onions and saute
– add apples
– add mushrooms and continue sauteing
– add herbs and mix
– let stand ten min. off heat with lid on
— this is the stuffing
– rinse turkey fillet
– put stuffing in clay pot
– place fillet on top
– put lid on and in the oven
– roast one hour at 200 degrees C

This is a quick and easy method that avoids the timing, the mess and leftovers of having a whole turkey. The stuffing soaks up the juices from the meat and tastes fantastic, but does not leave any juice for making gravy, which we make using soysauce, miso or other bouillon. The meat is always juicier this way too.

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