I am back home for a full week before running off to California again. Now I don’t mind going to California mind you, at least they are having a California start into a winter. It was nice, cool, a little rain, some wind and a bit of fog. I didn’t mind that a bit. Houston will not budge, it is still stuck in a end of summer doldrums well into December. Today, December 8th, a day removed from one of the most emotional days in American history, December 7th 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor we are still running our AC unit!. Today in Houston we were “blessed” with 82 degrees for the high and 64 on the low side. Sunday should mirror today. Monday, yes Monday, our version of winter will arrive and may even linger for most of the week. The high will be 54 degrees and the low will nudge freezing at 34 degrees F. My tomatoes in the barrel on the patio are days away from being ripe but I am afraid that they will finish the process on the kitchen counter. I picked one and sliced it this evening and it is a bit too firm.
I picked some turnips and a few carrots today, one of the turnips had a growth runaway. It just dwarfed the rest of its bed mates. I made a mess of turnip greens for an evening snack and the turnips, well I will find a way to get them into play over the next several days. Turnip greens update – I just ate the greens with a little sea salt and crumbled, thick slice bacon along with a glass of my recently kegged Dirty Honey Blonde Ale. Turnip greens are something I didn’t grow up on but the great flavor and vitamin component will make them a more frequent visitor to the kitchen. Both the greens and the beer wee pretty durned good. Some further reading on turnip greens. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=144
The freeze or near freeze will finish off my tomato vines, the ancho/poblano peppers will hang on a little longer changing from that characteristic dark green of the immature Poblano to the red color of the mature Ancho – same pepper but two names based on color and maturity – as it matures it turns red and becomes hotter. The name ancho is associated the mature red dried version.
The rest of the garden….carrots are getting thick their beds, turnips are kicking butt, my curly kale is getting close to picking size, broccoli may be getting close to heading, the cabbage is showing signs of creating heads and the Brussel sprouts are now showing some energy to reach on up and develop some size. The sugar snap peas, I’ll have to wait as the sugar snap peas are just starting to flower. I have been pinching flowers off of my poor confused strawberry plants – they think it is a warm early spring…..I may have to chat with them as I have done with the asparagus – be quiet, develop your roots and wait for the real spring. My lettuces are looking good but sparse. I will put a third round of lettuce seeds out and hopefully it won’t be too warm for better germination.
Last week a spread a fresh batch of worm castings and have a very full wheelbarrow full of finished compost to spread. A brief visit to my friend John’s garden this evening showed a need for some of my compost. Some clean-up work will be needed as the tomato plants will have be pulled. I have some onion sets for him and I think some garlic cloves. By the end of the week I should get his garden looking good and ready for our brief winter.
The neighborhood is filled with leaves just begging for a visit from my leaf vacuum/shredder……I may have to go back to work for a week just to rest up from what I have planned this week!