The Winter Garden


| 10/24/2016 12:00:00 AM


As Halloween draws near and nights get cooler, the time to plant our winter garden grows closer. Here on the coast, winter is when we grow the crops that the rest of the country grows in early spring. Snow peas, sugar snaps, brassicas, lettuce and greens…all are winter crops here. We don’t experience any hard freezes, so our garden continues producing a variety of yummy treats all year.

One project that my husband and I enjoy every winter is our Asian food garden. My son loves Chinese food, so that’s the only garden that excites him. Many Asian vegetables are perfect for cooler weather gardening. In the winter, we grow napa cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, and Thai basil, among others, and one year, we even experimented with button mushrooms (which did quite well and which we will expand upon this winter). My husband was stationed in Japan in the Marines and developed a taste for Japanese food. Udon and soba noodles are a staple in our house, so we like to grow the vegetables to go with them. My recipe for vegetable lo mein follows.

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We also grow our root vegetables such as turnips, beets, carrots and radishes during the winter. We do like a variety of root vegetables. These keep company with lettuce and mustard greens, arugula and winter wheat. Citrus trees can produce all year, so our key lime and meyer lemon do their part. I also typically plant herbs that like cooler temperatures, such as cilantro.

Various greens provide a fresh addition to our winter menus, as well. We grow lettuce, kale, various salad greens, and mustard greens in our winter garden. My husband absolutely love greens, and they can well. A quick and easy lunch is a jar of mustard greens sauteed with onions and bacon.



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