Although my backyard is north facing, it is on a south slope and in winter a lot of the garden is in shadow. For years I assumed I wouldn’t be able to grow any vegetables because they wouldn’t get enough sun. About 4 years ago I decided to just put some vegetable seedlings in and see what happened. Much to my surprise and delight everything grew just fine, so I have been planting them every winter since.
I must admit that sometimes I question my sanity and wonder whether I should just hibernate for the winter and not have to go outside – especially when for weeks and weeks it has been dark when I get home from work and it is cold and rainy when I’m free at the weekends.
But when I do go out to the veggie patch and discover a wonderful selection of fresh winter vegetables all ready for the picking, all doubts of sanity are cast aside. I do love fresh vegetables straight from the garden – I feel healthier just looking at them!
Winter vegetables need very little work, particularly if you can protect them from white butterfly early on or plant your seedlings later in the autumn. I always need to make sure I control for slugs and snails, but other than that the vegetables need very little attention and you can simply harvest the bounty at appropriate times.
My winter staples are: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or chinese cabbage, bok choy, broad beans, Swiss chard, celery, carrots, spinach and leeks.
Recipes using winter vegetables:
‘Whatever I could find in the Garden’ Soup is a perennial favourite .
Thai Potato Soup – potatoes are great whatever time of year.
Roasties with Spinach, Feta and Sundried Tomato Dip
Frittata with leftover roasties
Drying celery using a dehydrator