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365 Days of Growing Food: Week 2

By now, we've had multiple snow and ice storms to contend with for the outside garden, and yet, she still grows for us.

Lettuce, kale, turnips, spinach, mustard, and choy have all been served up this week. While we were pulling a silage tarp over the open air fall garden, we found several turnips prime for the picking, and oh so sweet.

If you've never had a winter sweetened turnip, or frost kissed greens, you're missing out. I actually, snobbishly, refuse to eat summer root crops or greens. They're bland and sometimes even bitter to me, and I am spoiled by my winter growing habits. Every day there are sweet, delicious, fresh winter crops waiting to be baked, juiced, roasted, or monched fresh in my front yard.

Walk a few feet and you'll trip over various chickens, who broke their laying hiatus and molt this week, with the gift of several fresh eggs.

Nightly for over a week, we've spent hours pulling various pork products from our freezers to work on from the Kune Kune harvest last week. Nose to tail is taken very seriously here, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our kitchen dates, crafting beautiful sausage, lard, and hams until the wee hours of the morning.

We still have 4 pigs growing for March butcher, and 4 American Guinea Hogs out in the garden, tilling up the weedy patches and growing us future bacon in the process. Every few days, we move the fence to put them on a new spot to work. Pigs are probably my favorite garden too, especially as we redo our garden structure from beds into rows.

Inside, in two weeks, I have produced 4lbs of pea shoots. Today, I seeded a tray of popcorn microgreens, one week after sowing a matching tray of cilantro. The microgreen set up has provided more than food, as the sea of green is also extremely mentally beneficial to see each day. It gives me a chance to play with dirt and seeds in the very short off season.

There are wheat seeds sprouting on my counter, to be dried and ground into sprouted grain flour. Sourdough and saurkraut happily bubble on my counter, my millions of microscopic pets, fermenting foods into nutrient dense biomes for me.

Tomorrow, the real fun begins. Seeds for replanting the outside rows with frost hardy crops will be started inside under the grow lights and hardened off slowly in February. Kale, collards, and spinach are first on the docket. Soon, the front beds will be tarped in prepartion for the warm spring weather, in which they will be planted with sunflowers, zinnias, and melons.

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