Posts Tagged ‘winter vegetable garden’

Ravishingly Robust Radicchio Rules!

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog more consistently.

So – on January 2, I set out to create a new post and rapidly encountered multiple problems.  In short I have been out of commission since then and just got back up and running today.  Yay!

Meanwhile I missed my 2 year blog anniversary on January 6.

So what a bummer!  The Blog-iversary has come and gone and I have so many potential blog posts dancing in my head that I just don’t know which to write first.

Ravishingly Robust Radicchio Rules! Note the small head that is beginning to form in the middle of the rosette.

I think I will post a closeup of the most beautiful thing in my vegetable garden which is, by the way, really rocking right now.

Of all the eye candy therein… my robust radicchio is the most lovely.  The plant carried over from last year and is in its second year in the veg garden.  This perennial nature seems to be the norm for radicchio here in Mississippi.

Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) is a leafy form of chicory with some red color.  I read that the ancient Egyptians selected it from wild chicory populations.  Then in the 1860’s a Belgian agronomist tinkered with it to incorporate consistent red color.

When I planted my summer veggies, the radicchio languished in the shade and remained hidden so that I was pleasantly surprised to find it when I pulled out the tomatoes, peppers and green beans.

During the cleanup, the tag was lost.  I have done some research and speculate that this variety might be ‘Early Treviso’.

I do know that the seed came from Nichols Garden Nursery and I am relatively sure that it is either ‘Early Treviso’ or some unknown variety from Nichols’ Wild Garden Chicory Mix.

Regardless it is a beautiful plant and quite tasty if you like buttery bitterness.  I pick a few leaves off the side of the rosette and add them to every salad.

I am looking forward to watching this little jewel head up.

Due to the high entertainment value, I planted more seed in the fall and have healthy baby radicchio coming along.

So… all is well.  The blog is up and running and the radicchio rules!



The Greens Project

This functional raised bed produces a bounty of winter veggies.

It’s two days before the end of the year and the temperature is in the mid 60’s.  Clouds are alternating with dazzling sun.

This morning I walked down to see how my vegetables fared during our recent 19 degree nights.

My veggies live in raised beds inside the electric fence that encloses my nursery.  This utilitarian arrangement became necessary because the winter greens that I craved were being rapidly consumed on the Deer Salad Bar.

I decided that while I was making a move, I would devise a couple of new and improved veggie beds.

The beds are made of two courses of stacked concrete blocks.  They are 16′ long and about 3′ wide.

Sorrel and mustard mingle in my raised beds.

A section of cattle panel (which is cheap heavy duty fencing) serves as a trellis on the north side of each bed.

The beds have wonderful drainage.  They get watered when I irrigate the nursery.

If I’m feeling lazy, I can sit on the side of the bed to harvest my lettuce!

I bent 1/2″ pvc pipe over the top of the beds.  Now I easily cover the plants with canvas painter’s dropcloths when the temperatures plummet.

It’s a nice arrangement.

Right now I have parsley, cilantro, sorrel, broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, mustard, Chinese cabbage and onions that are ready to eat.

Mr. Anole enjoys basking on a red mustard leaf.

I have young spinach, carrots, turnips and frisee coming along.

I will plant snow peas and English peas to climb the trellis in a few weeks.

It’s a continuing process.

The beds are a verdant oasis during the dreary winter days so I enjoy visiting and harvesting.

Today I scared off an anole lizard who was sunning himself on an Asian red mustard leaf.

I had no idea that The Greens Project would also provide a winter vacation spot for the lizards.


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