Part of my garden design has always been to extend fresh food later into winter. This is my third day of snow and high winds. I miss my winter garden.
In Texas and Washington I grew cold season vegetables outside in the winter. My New Mexico Mountain Food Forest is not warm enough for that. I don’t have insulating snow cover that would allow me to mulch over root vegetables like carrots and parsnips that could be harvested late into the year.
I do have a few survival nibbles out there, like Juniper berries. Every winter after heavy frost I go out and collect about 20 to add to a cup of hot Rooibos Red Tea with honey. Early in the winter they taste like turpentine, but by January they have better flavor. Except for tea I don’t use them. I might roast some this year as a pepper substitute, when the snow melts off again.
A few weeks ago I brought in a few spices and herbs both for their good scent and for green nibbles. This year has sage, pineapple sage, chocolate mint, German thyme, and oregano. I cut them to the ground and have new growth.
I found 4 sprouting Yukon Gold potatoes from summer and am trying something different this year. Instead of rushing to eat them, I dropped them in the bottom of 2 deep pots and will see how they do inside. I didn’t manage to winter over Yukon Gold potatoes last year and am experimenting to see if these might be a bridge between my crop and spring planting. Four potatoes in two 12 inch pots might make enough seed potatoes for spring planting. I also want to order some fingerlings this year for variety. Russets, although not my favorite, are better for winter storage, although I haven’t sprouted any. I might get a few in the spring for next winter’s keepers.
Today is a good day to start a pot of radishes inside. I reseed every couple weeks and eat the greens when they get a couple inches high.
I am dreaming of an unheated greenhouse. I would try cabbages, mustard, chives, carrot, radishes, garlic, beets, kohlrabi, potatoes, viola, peas, turnips, et and so on down the list of cold hardy vegetables.