December 30, 2022

Garden Notes: December 2022


  • 3rd: 0.25"
  • 5th: 0.7"
  • 6th: 1.0"
  • 7th: 0.2"
  • 8th: 0.05"
  • 9th: 0.3"
  • 10th: drizzle
  • 11th: 0.1"
  • 14th: 0.8"
  • 15th: 2.0"
  • 22nd: 0.125"
  • 30th: 0.1"
  • 31st: 0.25"
  • Total so far: 5.875 inches

Not Rain (and not measurable)

  • 20th: light sleet
  • 22nd: swirling snowflakes


  • range of nighttime lows: 7 to 53°F (-14 to 12°C)
  • range of daytime highs: 23 to 69°F (-5 to 20.5°C)

Weather Notes:

The infamous frigid front blasted in during the early morning hours of the 23rd. It was 45°F (7°C) at midnight, but by sunrise it had dropped to 26°F (-3°C) and kept on dropping. By the next morning, the thermometer registered 7°F (-14°C). The frozen cold lasted for about five days before returning to more typical (for us) winter weather. And that was enough to freeze my winter garden dead. Some years are like that.


Most of these photos were taken before our deep freeze.  

Daikon radishes

Hopniss (ground nuts)

Lettuce and kale

Jerusalem artichokes


The turnips didn't come from the garden. Rather, these came out of the pasture. Dan planted a deer plot mix last August for a cover crop and winter foraging for the goats. Besides grasses, the mix included daikon, turnips, and forage mustard. So we benefit from it too. 

Turnips growing in the pasture.

When the forecast predicted temps in the teens and below, I went out and harvested as many as I could to store in the pantry. Repeated freezing and thawing will turn them to mush. 

All of the largest turnips from the pasture.

Last summer, I planted squash in our pasture mix. The goats completely ignored it, and I harvested squashes for us to eat. We had diversity in the pasture and good things to eat too. This is helping me to view our entire homestead as a food growing system with multiple benefits.


We enjoyed fresh greens in early December.

Sauteed greens (daikon, turnip, mustard,
kale, and collards) with grated sweet potato.

With the greens all frozen out, we'll have to rely on canned greens. But we can still enjoy fresh root crops.

Turnips roasted with sweet potato

I managed to get a half-gallon of kimchi made before the freeze. Now, I wish I'd made at least a gallon or more.

Kimchi: daikon roots and leaves, cabbage,
 turnips, Jerusalem artichoke, and ginger.

We eat kimchi as a side dish or as a slaw-like salad. I experimented with sauerkraut, and discovered that it takes only a small amount of mayonnaise to make a kraut slaw( compared to making cole slaw with raw cabbage). Kimchi slaw makes a tasty salad too.

Kimchi slaw

Warmer weather and rain is in the forecast for the tail end of the month. I'll update my December rainfall records after that. 

I don't reckon anybody in the northern hemisphere has a garden left. Unless, someone is greenhouse growing? Hopefully, everyone's pantry is full. 


Ed said...

We eat a lot of root crop veggies this time of year as well. They are just so easy to prepare. The only thing we have left from our garden that hasn't been prepared or preserved in some way are our potatoes. But we use our home canned good nearly daily judging by the empties I am carting back down to the basement shelves.

We go through a fair amount of kimchi too but ours is reddish in color, I guess from the fish sauce. We eat it straight as a side sometimes but mostly we eat it in jjigae, which is a spicy Korean stew with tofu and other veggies in it. It really warms you up on a cold winter's evening.

Leigh said...

Ed, I love root veggies and it's funny how eating seasonally makes winter just seem like root crop menu season.

I confess my kimchi recipe is pretty much made up. But then, there seem to be hundreds of kimchi recipes out there, so I figure why not??? Your jjigae sounds really good. I'll have to do some recipe exploring and find other ways to use our kimchi. Next year, I'll make more!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, Na Clann love Kimchee. And it is super good for you. Apparently there is a museum in South Korea which is nothing but Kimchee with all of the regional variations!

We were hit pretty hard with the cold - survival of the garlic and onions still seems to be up in the air.

Leigh said...

TB, I would love to see that museum!

I have no idea how my garlic and onions are doing. It's now a matter of waiting to see if anything sprouts new leaves. I hope yours survived!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh - The museum:

Nancy In Boise said...

Loos amazing, wish we could winter garden here! Have you guys tried growing mushrooms?

Leigh said...

Nancy, every year the winter garden is a gamble. We lost the bet this year, but I'm glad I harvested all of those turnips before the big freeze!

We've tried twice to grow mushrooms, but never produced a single one.

Leigh said...

TB, thank you for the link! Looks like an interesting place. I like that there are so many variations to this amazing food.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely delightful Leigh. And yes I do have a garden I have potatoes and two raised beds that are still growing.
We will see what happens come February or March. I also have brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. My lettuces are still doing well and it’s not that we’ve had particularly typical weather quite the contrary the hard freezes for days. I’ve had 45 mile an hour winds we’ve just spent the last 36+ hours torrential rain and my creek is threatening to rise over the top.
Let’s just call it beginners luck as we do in the show ring. . Happy new year to you and yours and everybody out there i blog land. Goatldi

Leigh said...

Goatldi, I'm so happy to hear your garden is still growing! I'm guessing you needed the rain, except not all at once!

Quinn said...

I've often thought of planting plots for my goats, but the problem would be taking some of their space away to do it in - the only other way would be to split the herd and have a separate paddock elsewhere, but you can imagine how miserable they would be. Even the ones who don't like each other, always want to be very near. Hardwired herd mentality!
I did however make one of your raised browsing frames for the hens and planted a mix of all my old veg seed under the wire. It was a big hit, so much so that I'll never know what most of the sprouts were, because they were de-leafed so quickly! Next year I'll try two smaller frames and alternate availability. Thanks for that excellent idea, Leigh!

Leigh said...

Quinn, I'm so glad the grazing bed was a success! We have trouble keeping up with them because all our poultry love the growing greens.

I agree that finding space to grow for livestock can be a challenge. We have a designated area, but often have to use it for grazing when things aren't growing. For the goats, I mostly now focus on growing extra, like the greens or winter squash. I'd love to be able to grow everything we feed our critters, but at least every little bit helps.