Winter Harvest & Early Spring Planting

It’s that time of year between winter and spring, here in Sonoma. We have been getting ‘in like a lion’ rain/hail storms (thankfully) and yet the cherry plum trees are in bloom and daffodils are beginning to make there appearance throughout town.
Last Saturday was a sunny day, a rare day for us lately, so we decided to harvest most of the cabbage, the bolting kale and a few of the brussel sprouts which have been growing all winter. Because we’ve had more than our fair share of kale lately, I decided to break out the ol’ FoodSavervacuum and use it to vacuum seal blanched portions of kale to freeze for a later date. Have you used a FoodSaver before? We received one when we got married 6.5 years ago and we really like it. It keeps things fresher for much longer in the freezer. We originally used it for vaccum sealing the salmon that Scott used to catch. But we also use it for freezing large Costco sizes of meat and now for veggies too. A worthy investment if you freeze a lot of food.
Potato Growing
Into the garden went the potatoes: Red Gold, Russet Norkotah, Rose Finn Apples (Potato Garden is where we get our seed potatoes). Old German shallots and Red Wethersfield onions (for green onions), our newly aquired spinach, daikon, and carrot seeds, and lastly peas.

We took out our favorite How to Grow More Vegetables book for some spring planting inspiration this past weekend because they lay it all out for you of exactly how many seeds you should be planting of what vegetables for this time of year for a family of four, isn’t that convenient? Anyway, they listed a rather reasonable amount of seeds for each item, but when it came to peas? It suggests you plant 1800 pea seeds! One thousand and eight hundred! We looked at our measly one packet of seeds and laughed. So I suppose we’ll be about 1775 seeds short of what we should be planting this year. Since I’m not a fan of cooked peas anyway, I’m not too worried. How many pea seeds do you usually plant?

Oh, I also wanted to point out that I added a bookstore link up above, do you see it? I’ve added only books that either we own or that we have read and have liked, I’d never suggest something to you that we haven’t tried ourselves.

I hope your last week of winter is going smoothly! Oh and go here to find out when your last frost date is.


Filed under books, Preserving, Seeds

9 responses to “Winter Harvest & Early Spring Planting

  1. I had a FoodSaver — it’s been years ago…. like maybe 15 or so. Since that time, they’ve come out with some new models that I heard work well with things like fresh meats that you want to freeze. With my old FoodSaver, I had to pre-freeze the meats first and then vacuum seal. I ran across the FoodSaver the other day at Wally World…. kinda got me to thinking that maybe I could use one again especially with preserving food from the garden this year. 🙂

  2. Oooohh, a Foodsaver would be nice. Maybe I’ll ask for one for Scott’s birthday at the end of April 😉 Just kidding of course, but I really would like to have one. I do freeze a lot now, and will especially when my bounty becomes more than we can daily consume this summer (maybe if I keep talking like that I will actually have a more successful garden this year!).

    I have a planting question for you. I have read some about cluster planting, planting things closer together that is typically recommended. This helps with water retention and also chokes out weeds. Do you plant this way? You can tell I have done some reading since last year’s fairly poor garden?

    Yay for more rain for you!

  3. Jen

    Lol peas are just planted for something to nibble on while you are in the garden. It just takes way too many to get a reasonable harvest from.

  4. If you grew edible Brussels Sprouts in Sonoma, I bow down to you as God and Goddess of Gardening. The two heat waves we had this winter caused mine to turn into large blowsy cabbages instead of tight little heads. And were they bitter. The whole crop just fed the composter.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Lisa- The crop has indeed been lackluster. They did stay in heads, but the were small and frankly we haven’t eaten them yet. I’ll have to report back on how they taste.

  5. We use our foodsaver after every Coscto trip. Love it. I haven’t used it for our garden harvest yet, but that’s only because we’re still bumbling our way through getting an actual harvest.

    Last year I tried planting onion sets – they came in a bundle of 100 and I ran out of room and patience at about 70.

  6. When will you harvest the potatoes? This is our first year growing potatoes (we are in central CA) and we put them in the ground in Dec. They are about 12-16 inches tall now (tho we’ve been hilling up with straw so not that much of the plant is in the open) The frost we had at the beginning of Feb. had us worried – it looked like we might lose most of them – but they recovered and look great now. We did plant another crop on the first of Feb. and they are rapidly catching up in size. Do you always plant yours in the Spring?

  7. ps. I was wondering why our Brussel sprouts looked so crummy this year…maybe it was that warm spell?

  8. Pingback: Four Years of Marches | A Sonoma Garden

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