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I tried, but I couldn’t do it

By Penny Stine

I had every intention of pulling everything but the kale and the perennials out of my garden over the weekend. I've learned that kale often does just fine over the winter. This blue dwarf kale is in the shade, so it definitely stays in a dwarf-like state, but it's got to be at least three years old. It won't grow over the winter, but I'll be able to pick at least one more time before it shuts down and then it will probably start growing again in March.
This redbor kale has gotten prettier in the cold weather. I plan on picking a variety of kale for a Thanksgiving salad and this will do nicely. It's supposed to be sweeter after a frost. This was the first season for this particular patch of kale and I'm definitely hoping it survives the winter.





I was going to pull all the broccoli plants, but discovered they're still sending out little florets, so I picked all the florets instead and left the plants standing.I made a spinach/broccoli casserole with my harvest and hoped those plants would give me a few more before they shut down.  







On Saturday, I made a tasty polenta dish (here's the recipe) using some of the leeks still in my garden. I was going to pull the remainder, but decided they'd survive in the garden as well as they would in my fridge, so I left them. I probably have enough for two more batches of potato leek soup.





I also left this in the ground. It's another celery root and it seems to be quite content in the ground.

I'm keeping an eye on the weather. As long as it gets above freezing during the day and stays in the 20s rather than the teens at night, this cold-hardy stuff will be fine. I want to pick it before daytime temps remain in the 30s, however, because then the ground will make it too hard to pull anything out of the ground.  


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