Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Chill

Well up until just a few days ago there was still plenty to eat coming from the garden. Mustard greens, turnips, lettuces, kale, pea sprouts, beets, rapini, Chinese broccoli, chard, celery, oregano, and parsley. I know, I know, it all sounds little too healthy.

But a few days ago it turned cold, really cold, well really cold for Oregon. I can hear mid-westerners and east coasters chuckling. Really cold, really dry and really windy. Get out the chapstick. Last night it got down below 20 degrees and the water for the chickens was frozen, as was the birdbath, and hummingbird feeder.

Most all of the plants are slumped over, not looking very happy. And this just after I've been bragging about my "cold tolerant peppers". Well they don't look like they're cold tolerant enough. Luckily I brought some of them inside, where they seem to be quite comfortable.

I've put a heat lamp in the coop, just to knock a little of the chill off, especially since two of the birds have been molting. They are almost re-feathered, but I don't want their semi-naked butts to be too cold. The trouble is that they awake at about 5am and start to squawk, so I get up and turn off the light and go back to bed. And so do they, until dawn when I let them out to peck at the frozen ground.

Oh, and there were lot of these things in the garden too. Luckily I harvested before the freeze.

Jerusalem artichoke, or Sunchokes
We ate some in salads, and stir fry, and the rest of them became pickles, along with some cauliflower and onions. Sweet, sour, and very crisp.


Kate said...

Since I'm originally from Minnesota I could be one of those chuckling -- 20 below zero is cold, 20 above zero is balmy... But, I now live in a warmer climate and I'm with you ~ 20 is VERY cold for Oregon!

janie said...

Cold for Texas too!
How do you pickle those Jerusalem artichokes? I mean, is it just vinegar, bread & butter, sweet pickles, dill? I have never eaten them, and if I would like to try growing some.
I loved it about the chickens. Sounds like me and my animals.

AJK said...

It got cold here in SoCal last night, we had to cover our crops. The lettuce took it hard.

We harvested sunchokes too, that pickle sounds great, I think I'll try making it too!

pdxlisa said...

Hi Janie,

Yes, the recipe I used was very much like a bread and butter pickle recipe. Here's the link,

Oh, and I added cauliflower too.