Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The first freeze

Our first big frost in our garden occurred over the weekend. We came home to collapsed nasturtiums and blackened basil. Last night, it dipped below the freezing mark; the parsley was frozen and the large redbor kale that had survived from early last winter was frosty early and drooping late in the evening, a sure sign of frost damage.

Late this afternoon, in chilly temperatures, I hurriedly cut purple mustard, red cut-leaf mustard, lettuce, and arugula in the (ornamental and demonstration) vegetable garden next to the visitor center; I hated to think about the tenderer greens going to waste in tonight's potential harder freeze, since I'm unsure about how much the brick walls might hold heat.

I've been giving the excess harvest to my gardening companion for some of the custodial staff in his building -- mustard and turnip greens, and arugula (great as a cooked green). There's not enough to take to our local food bank (I need some gleaners to harvest more, I guess), but at least some of what's being grown now is being eaten--greens are wonderful food and are delicious.

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