Tips For Early Spring Veggies

 By Sabine Hilding

Attached are photos of overwintered spinach, curly kale, garlic, under frost cloth FYI,you could do collards too. Chives of course overwinter easily without frost cloth. The is lo tech, no greenhouse. The photos are from a Harney County Community Garden plot and were taken on Sunday, 4-7-2013. Garlic overwinters easily without frost cloth but then takes longer.

The spinach and curly kale were planted from seed October 2012. Then covered loosely with a frost cloth, which was weighted down (loosely) by obsidian (heavy) stones almost right after seeds emerged. Then they were left completely alone for 4 months. Under the frost cloth, the seeds grew into small starts at the end of fall 2012. Snow sat on top of frost cloth in winter 2012-13. Plants underneath lived and grew very slowly.  When snow melted in 2013, plantsgrew a lot, and even more recently with the advent of spring.  Plants were kept under frost cloth the entire time, even now, as deer meander into the HCCG and would eat the crop. Cloth was lifted merely to weed a bit in 3-2013.  Garlic was planted from toes along with seeds, (organic garlic from grocery) and is best planted in fall for next year.

By the way, the volunteer spring dandelions you see in the photo can be braised or used in salads. Just wash all greens very well.

Good gardening,

PS: I have included a dandelion greens recipe as people are so down on this wonderful green

SIMPLE DANDELION GREENS, (or spinach, collards, or kale) ITALIAN STYLE.  

Pick dandelion greens. Stick to plants that are not blooming if you don’t want them to be too bitter. Sturdy kitchen scissors are great for picking greens.

Wash dandelion greens. Soak them in a bowl of water, fish them out, and repeat with clean water until you don’t find any dirt on the bottom of the bowl.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet. You could also use lard or schmaltz.

Saute the greens in the oil. Cook them until they’re as soft as you like. You may want to put a lid on the pan and steam them for a bit if they’re tough.

Salt the greens to taste. 

Chop a bunch of garlic. Whatever amount you like.

Stir the garlic into the greens.  Basically raw, but you can keep cooking it for a minute or two if you like. Serve

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