In the garden: Purple Carrots

My purple carrots were small and stunted this year – I don’t think they liked all the heat.  They still tasted good.

The garden has had a hard time of it lately.  One evening when we drove up the cows had busted in somehow.  I thought everything would be eaten to nubs, but they had gotten distracted by the tender cover crop I had planted in the back and hadn’t made it to even the turnips yet.  Bad things!  First the goats got in, then the pigs, and now the cows!  They ate all the oats and rye, so I’ll have to replant.

This is what my garden looks like right now, sheltering under hoops with plastic.  The hot weather made me lazy this year, and I didn’t get the cold protection set up ahead of time.  Instead, we had to fumble around just before dark getting things set up for the first cold snap.  We didn’t do a good job of it – or maybe I didn’t plan the garden layout very well (a possibility) so now it’s nearly impossible to walk around in the garden when the plastic is off without getting barricaded in by metal hoops.

There wasn’t enough to cover the cabbage, and it all froze, so no cabbage this year.  Or cauliflower.  Or broccoli.  Or Brussels sprouts.  But at least I grew such a big variety of Asian greens this year – they are getting us through the winter.  And the lettuce.  I am so glad I planted so much lettuce!  Because this is what dinner looks like most nights:

Something green from the garden, some cassava roots – just add a roast or soup and there’s dinner.  We still have a couple of rows of cassava left.  We seem to go through a root-system a week.  I peel it and soak it in changes of water, and this seems to improve the flavor a lot.  The bitterness soaks out, and I can smell the cyanide in the water the first few days.  It gets more tender and potato-like.

I also still have Seminole pumpkins left.  They are so sweet they are almost like a dessert, and I didn’t even plant them.  I’ve been putting the seeds in the pig bucket lately instead of roasting them, in hopes that there will be a pig-planted pumpkin patch in the orchard this summer.  We had some growing already, but the cold snap melted them.

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