Golden Globe Turnip & Blue Curled Scotch Kale Seedlings
Realization Of The Day:
It's October?! What the heck happened to September?
While there isn't often a whole lot of excitement in the garden in October (unless you count my jumping for joy that the majority of damaging insects have finally disappeared), it's my favorite month on the farm. Autumn doesn't last long in southern Missouri, but when it's here it's very comfortable and very beautiful. In a good year, the colors of the turning leaves rival those in New England. No, really.
The doors and windows of The Shack still stand wide open, and it cools down pleasantly at night, though not enough to warrant having to start up the woodstove yet. That means we aren't hauling firewood into the living room half a dozen times a day, although we do need to start cutting some. This year's woodpile (which is our main source of heat throughout winter) is pretty much non-existent. Okay, there's no pretty much about it, it's non-existent. Months of sweltering heat and humidity make it incredibly easy to ignore that fact--every single year.
Since I haven't been busy dealing with firewood, I did have a chance to plant some fall crops. The seedlings you see above were direct seeded on September 15th, and I guess I was a little heavy handed with the sprinkling. They're in dire need of thinning, but too much germination is always better than not enough. And the cute baby sprouts will be tasty and nutritious additions to the salad bowl.
I planted these seeds in the taller of the two mini greenhouse beds, so once it starts freezing at night I'll cover the frame with thick clear plastic. (Note: there's construction information for the mini greenhouse beds in the comments section of that link. And for those of you who have been asking about what the layout of my garden looks like, you can see most of it in the photos, though it's been expanded since then.) Since I planted only crops that thrive in cool weather in there, I'm hoping to extend my harvest well into winter.
I've had pretty good luck growing turnips over the years. You can read more about my experiences here, including growing tips and how to harvest from your turnip plants all year long.
One of my favorite ways to use turnips is in Garlic Lover's White Bean Soup, a tasty, easy, and oh-so-comforting recipe. It also happens to be vegan and fat free, but you don't have to tell anybody those details unless you want to.
I started plenty of other seeds as well, including several types of Oriental greens, though not everything I'd hoped to. Five raised beds and not a single lettuce seed sown anywhere! I'm telling myself there's still time, but at the rate time has been speeding by, I'm going to blink and it'll be Christmas. Lettuce seeds started or not, I can only hope that my beloved October will stick around long enough for me to enjoy it.
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