So here we are at the start of the festive season, the marathon stretch from now until January 1st. What, with shopping, planning and visiting, who has time to think about seasonality...
I do, of course. Its my favorite time of year, the food, the temperature and the festivities. So, lets have a look at what is being brought to the table.
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Florence fennel, endive, escarole, and collard greens are crops for fall harvest that are best started indoors and later transplanted out into the garden. Start these crops indoors in early summer for mid- to late-summer transplanting into the garden. (These crops can also be purchased as starts from a local nursery.)
Cool-weather crops sown in summer for fall harvest often perform better than when planted in spring. In mid- to late-summer, garden soil is already warm–not warming as in spring–and seeds germinate more readily. As well, transplants get a faster start in the warm season than in the colder part of the year. Cool-weather crops prefer to mature in cool weather; cool-weather crops planted in spring often come to maturity as the weather is warming, not cooling.
Cooling and cold weather enhances the flavor of many crops coming to harvest in autumn as plant metabolisms change with cooler temperatures. Sugars accumulate in plant tissues of cool-weather crops as temperatures decline and crops become sweeter flavored. Leafy crops such as lettuce are sweeter tasting in cool weather. Brussels sprouts, kale, and parsnips are noticeably more flavorful when exposed to cooler temperatures and even frost.
How about a recipe or three?
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Cheers, have a great weekend!