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Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

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Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/16/2012, 8:36 pm

So I am about to embark on year two of Arizona SFGing and in years prior my excitement was of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, basil, beans and cucumbers... followed by a bit of disappointment that none would grow well in the winter.

After my wife saying the broccoli we tried for the first time this weekend was the best she ever had, turning broccoli leaves into broccoli chips (like kale chips), enjoying fresh salads, pulling tasty carrots of all colors and seeing sugar snap peas growing -- all this past weekend -- I almost cannot wait for next winter. Only 1/3 of my garden is in use now.... I'll go gangbusters next fall with the seedlings and have plenty to freeze when it's time to make room for the summer crops. If only I could grow beer.
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  GWN on 1/16/2012, 9:30 pm

WOW, I am envious.
Is it just broccoli or have you grown some other veggies, how about Kale?

I find that the spinach in the fall, is the best I ever had.
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/17/2012, 8:06 am

My wife loved the small amount of kale growing in the mixed spinach. We are definitely adding that to the summer seed order, along with a few other specific lettuces that come in the mix.

When I made the broccoli chips, I did have a few pieces of kale and some swiss chard in the mix. All tasted excellent but the kale chips were the best. This could probably be in a new thread about kale chips, but I put garlic powder on half, the other half without. Each of those two groups were divided into four different seasonings - salt, lemon pepper, lowry's seasoning and montreal steak seasoning. The wife and I liked the steak seasoning w/ garlic powder best, followed by salt w/ garlic powder.

I plan to do cauliflower next winter also. Would like to try some indian dishes using curries with fresh cauliflower.

My spinach has grown very very slow. Not sure why except with the low sun they are only getting about 3 1/2 hrs of direct sunlight. Summer I get about 6 hrs.
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/17/2012, 10:51 pm

My spinach has grown very very slow. Not sure why except with the low sun they are only getting about 3 1/2 hrs of direct sunlight. Summer I get about 6 hrs

Even in a milder climate like you have during the winter, the short hours of daylight will slow down the growth.

If only I could grow beer.

When you figure this out, you could make a million bucks!
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  duhh on 1/25/2012, 2:29 am

glad to hear about your great garden! Also about making the kale chips. I have been thinking about doing this. Want to share how you did it? I have seen reciepies online, but haven't tried it yet.
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/25/2012, 8:14 pm

Cut leaves into big pieces.... mix in a bowl with tbsp of olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet... cover with seasoning.

I made different combinations of garlic powder / no garlic powder with each of the following lowry's, steak seasoning, lemon pepper and lemon. We liked the garlic / steak seasoning ones best.

Stick in over 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Enjoy.
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  duhh on 1/29/2012, 11:52 pm

Thanks! Will try it this next weekend!
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Re: Thought summer was the best, but perhaps it's winter

Post  varmit on 2/8/2012, 1:03 pm

Here in the Mid Desert -- California's Mojave Desert -- this winter has so far been quite mild. We expect to see high 60s and low 70s this week. Storms have been limited with only a couple of serious W*** sessions with speeds also in the 60s and 70s. The following are a few notes on this year's experiment.

The result is a winter garden has been enjoyable and fruit (or vegetable-ful). Radishes were the biggest challenge because they just took too long to mature and the texture went away. Diakon fared best. Asian cabbages are really coming on and encouraging the broccoli and kale. I think they are party-ing at night as they look really happy each am.

To accommodate our usual freezing temps -- sometimes to the low 20s -- originally used shredded paper. However,!!! Several drawbacks. Work load in increased over the alternative of quilts, keeping an inch of open ground, during the daytime, around each plant is a trial. And the real pain is that when one is scraping off the shreddings, tiny and delicate seed startings can easily get pulled along with the paper.

So, picked up two quilts at one of our local second hand stores ($5.00 total) and have been gently laying them over the 4' boxes on freeze anticipated nights. Until yesterday, left the paper around developed plants, each day checking to see they weren't encroaching on the open soil areas. With the coming of early re-planting time, the ground has been cleared away and new compost added to all squares. BTW: the quilts are old and soft, so I've found they do not lay too heavily on the larger plants -- so far.

Did find it important to get off the covers as early as possible -- the more sun during the day the better of course. Always wait til sun is nearly set before covering. The Sierra Nevada Mtns are to our West, so this means way after the sun is no longer above the passes or peaks. Have often used a flash light during covering.

Early plans for next year are very different and will have questions about these in another post.

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