Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fresh Veggies All Year? In Michigan!

            I might be late posting this one but who knows; if I am, just tuck it away until next year.

            Did you know that it is possible to grow fresh vegetables 12 months of the year here in Michigan! Outdoors! Sounds impossible doesn’t it? It's not.

            The four months people view as unharvestable are November, December, January and February. The question that should be asked is not "what can grow in the snow", but, "what can grow under the snow". The answer to this is carrots, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and salsify.

            To get these veggies to "keep" in the ground during the winter months, place a 12-inch layer of leaves over the rows; be sure to mark the rows with long sticks. When January, February, and March come, pull the leaves back and pull a few.

            Let me mention some other veggies that prolong the growing season:

            Potatoes can stay in the ground longer than most think. For years we have waited until December to harvest the last of them. After these have been harvested they will keep nicely for 2 to 3 months if kept at 45 - 60 degrees.

            Brussels Sprouts taste better when left on their stalk longer. They can stand temperatures down to 20 degrees and lower, this means harvesting for Christmas dinner is not out of the question.

            Red cabbage can be picked as late as November; and if stored in a cool place like the potatoes, will last at least 2 months, maybe 3.
            Winter squash such as Buttercup, Butternut, Acorn and Hubbard can be picked in early October and stored in a cool place for a long time. Make sure part of the stem remains with the squash to keep it from rotting at this most vulnerable spot.


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