gardening

Garden Update | Avoidance, Neglect & Pickled Radishes

Pickled Radishes

Broccoli - January 2013
I have a bad habit of avoiding things. And the more I avoid things, the more I want to avoid things. Do you do that too?

For example! Back when I was a librarian, I oversaw a whole section of the library. It was in a locked room, away from my office, and sometimes I’d go a few days without checking on it. And then after those few days, I’d start feeling a sense of dread at the thought of checking on it. Because I knew there would be magazines and academic journals all over the place. I knew it wouldn’t be good. And the more I’d put it off, the more I’d dread it, and the more I dread it, the more I’d put it off.

So that happened with my garden. Bad weather and busy weekends meant that I wasn’t able to spend much time out there. And then when I had the time, I didn’t want to go out there. So neglect turned to avoidance resulting in more neglect.

Well, I finally got out there this week. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be! But it’s not exactly doing well either. It’s not like last year when I was harvesting all sorts of things in January. There’s some kale, but everything else has either gone to seed or ended up dying after the snow we had a few days ago.

Broccoli Rabe - January 2013The broccoli rabe flowered and drooped.

Curry Plant - January 2013My fun little curry plant? Dead!

Cabbage - January 2013The cabbage has a tiny little head. So there’s that!

Sage - January 2013And the sage is starting to grow back. Which is nice because I use a lot of sage in my cooking.

Peas - January 2013My mess of pea plants keeps growing and growing, but it’s still not producing any peas.

Red Russian Kale - January 2013Kale! They say that frost makes kale taste even better and with the cold weather we’ve been having, I’m guessing this kale will be the most delicious kale I’ve ever had.

Basil - January 2013Aw, but the basil is dead. Deader than dead.

Radishes - January 2013The most exciting garden development this month is that I finally got some radishes. I still can’t manage to grow beets, but this is the first decent radish harvest I’ve gotten. I’ve always managed to grow a few puny radishes every spring and fall, but these were (mostly) normal sized radishes. I planted the Rainbow Radish Seeds from Cubit’s, so I’m not sure which varieties these are, but I know there are definitely some white icicles in there!

I had no idea what to do with my abundant harvest of radishes, so I decided to pickle them:

Pickled Radishes
I used a Pickled Radishes recipe from Epicurious. If you ever find yourself with more radishes than you know what to do with, make this recipe–it is easy! I can’t tell you how they taste because they’re currently sitting in the fridge, pickling away.

Are you still gardening this month? Have you ever pickled vegetables you grew?

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59 Comments

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    January 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around you gardening in January. While I’m in no rush for Spring and DEFINITELY not the grotesque heat of summer, I do miss my fresh herbs!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Tell me about it! I’ve been spending so much on herbs lately. ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply
    Ania
    January 29, 2013 at 9:08 am

    We brought all of our plants (granted, mostly aloe and some other greenery, only one edible: a basil plant) inside for the winter off of the balcony. The basil seems really happy to be inside where it’s nice and warm so it’s been giving us lots of leaves!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      I should have brought one of my basil plants inside. I’m back to buying it at the grocery store, which gets expensive!

  • Reply
    Jogalog
    January 29, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I haven’t ever pickled my own vegetables but I love pickling lemons and limes Indian style.

  • Reply
    Jessi
    January 29, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Pickled…pickles! Bread and butter to be exact!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      I wanted to make my own pickles last year, but the darn bugs got my cucumber plant. ๐Ÿ™ This year I will! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    January 29, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Oh I hear ya – stuff like that ends up taking the backburner when you’re super busy. Even if I had the amount of sunlight that I’d need to grow a garden in my yard, I wouldn’t have the time to keep up with it, either – so I hit the farm stand once a week instead. Thankfully it’s right up the street!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Yeah, it’s hard in the winter because not only do you need the time, you need to have the time on a day when it’s warm enough to be outside!

  • Reply
    Karen Lynch
    January 29, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I can’t believe you have a garden in January. I grew snow peas last spring and they did well, I worked fertilizer (organic) in the soil every few weeks.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      I’m trying to grow snow peas too. I have success with the snap peas, but snow peas are a different story. I should try adding more fertilizer–thanks for the tip! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    a farmer in the dell
    January 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    The radishes look beautiful. And that kale will be outstanding! Your garden will bounce back eventually. I love pickled radishes. yum!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Yeah, I’m looking forward to the spring when I can give it a big overhaul. ๐Ÿ™‚ It needs some TLC!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    The radishes are looking pretty good. I grew radishes last two years, but….harvested nothing..except radish leaves.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      That’s been my experience with radishes in the past. I get these tiny little radishes that aren’t even big enough to eat. I don’t know why they’re doing so much better this year!

  • Reply
    Kim of Mo'Betta
    January 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Wow. A garden in January. Neglected or not, I’m impressed! This post, combined with weather in the 60’s today…I’m getting spring fever!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      I know, and it’s in the 70s today! Too bad it’s going to be in the 50s again tomorrow…

  • Reply
    Dara
    January 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Great radishes! I am jealous you’re growing in January. Frost improves kale greatly.

  • Reply
    Val
    January 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I’m still picking greens, leeks, and herbs. They have needed protection over the last couple weeks (temps in the teens!), but I am amazed. The hardest thing about winter gardening is having to go out there to check on things. Otherwise, it is way easier than summer gardening! I especially like how even if I am not actively harvesting something throughout the winter, I get such a head start in spring. Your peas may not be producing now, but come very early spring you will be the first to have them! The pickles and cabbage especially look great. I have pickled okra from my own garden, but I can never grow cucumbers well enough to pickle them. Turnips are my favorite, but I’ve never had enough of them at one time either.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Yes! Last fall I planted cabbages that didn’t produce, but then in the spring, I was able to harvest them. So I’m hoping that happens again this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have such trouble growing leeks, I don’t know what my problem is–they never get thicker than a chive even after being in the garden for several months!

  • Reply
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}
    January 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    You are so brave for growing all these! I’ve killed a few too many houseplants in my day, so I do NOT think a garden is in my future. I hope your radishes and kale are delicious!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Well, I kill a lot of plants myself, but I soldier on. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I figure if I grow enough things, SOME of them will have to do well, right?

  • Reply
    Shirley
    January 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I wish I was gardening, but in these parts everything is deader than dead. And I neglected and avoided all my basement plants, so the basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary died. The Thai pepper plant may have hung on by a thread, the chive too. The strawberries … hmm, I’m not sure. But the hibiscus is doing great! The buds are always in an early state of bloom, but it must not be hot enough in the basement for them to bloom all the way. And the potted peony and lilac in the shed? Let’s just say I hope they miraculously spring to life in April (they require a cold winter, but I’ve barely watered them).

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Well the sage and rosemary could come back when you put them outside, right? Maybe they’re just dormant for the winter? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad I’m not the only one who lost some plants to neglect. Now that things are settled down a bit, I’m eager to get my spring garden started!

      • Reply
        Shirley
        January 31, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        I’m pretty sure they’re dead. ๐Ÿ™ And I feel extra bad because rosemary doesn’t even need much water compared to other herbs, so I feel extra neglectful. Already replaced the rosemary, will wait till spring to replace the others.

  • Reply
    JulieD
    January 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I haven’t pickled my own veggies but that’s a great idea!! Even though some of your plants are dead, your photos still make them look pretty! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love radishes in salads and eating them with my friend Todd & Diane’s sriracha white bean dip…it’s to die for!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Well if I get more radishes (fingers crossed!), I will have to make that dip! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Laura (GotChocolate)
    January 29, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I LOVE this post! I’m SO jealous your garden is growing things in the dead of winter. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I see a kitty. Or two. Or three? I swear there’s a kitty face (reflection?) in the upper-left corner.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Mochi and Miso were in the porch when I was taking the pictures! They love it out there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Beautiful! I envy your garden – it is truly the only thing that excites me about one day being responsible for my own yard. Well, that and no assessment payments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I think I put my garden in the weekend after we moved in. I had a community garden plot before that and I was so! excited! to finally be able to grow things right outside the back door. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply
        Kate
        January 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        I’m looking into the community garden option – got to start somewhere!

  • Reply
    hairstyles for girls
    January 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    This makes me want to move! I don’t think anything grows where I live in Jan. unless you have a green house. The radishes look great!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Yeah, last year was my first winter in the South and I was really, really shocked that my garden just continued to thrive through winter. I’m originally from the Midwest and by the end of September, my garden was always done for the year!

  • Reply
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    January 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I am the same way with avoidance. Whatever it is usually goes like this; I think about it and think about it, then I dread it and it keeps me up at night dreading it. Then I finally check on it or do it and it is never as bad as I thought that it would be. So crazy, but glad I am not alone. Your radishes look amazing:)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:47 am

      It’s true, it is never as bad as you expect it will be! And I always tell myself, “Well, that wasn’t so bad. Lesson learned! I won’t avoid things ever again!” Of course, I go right back to avoiding things a week later then. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    January 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I heard on a PBS food show that frost actually concentrates the sugar in winter greens – like kale and spinach – and can actually make them taste sweeter. You’ll have to let me know if that’s true!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

      I hope it is! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m growing some spinach too, although it’s so small I doubt it will be ready to harvest until late spring.

  • Reply
    dixya @ food, pleasure, and health
    January 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    great idea to use up that radish-while growing up my mom pickled a lot with few other spices and tastes good with fried rice especially. I have never had a garden but once i tried growing herbs-which was nice but i havent done anything lately.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Adding pickled radishes to fried rice is an awesome idea! Especially if they’re pickled in rice wine vinegar.

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    January 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I live in Canada so the idea of anything growing right now is awesome! I’m impressed with everything that is actually growing in your garden ๐Ÿ˜€ Also, I’m the exact same way with avoiding things! I don’t know why I do it, but it bugs me about myself!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one who avoids things like that! It bugs me about myself too. I get these big, weird mental blocks when it comes to doing certain things. And they’re always the dumbest things! Like checking on the garden!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Last year was our first in this home and so mild that my Swiss chard I’d started in the fall never really died back ever. Until perhaps now–the snow from the other day melted and if it doesn’t perk up under all this rain it may be kaput. But that would be a 15 month old plant, so not too shabby for me.

    I just emptied a jar of fridge dills ๐Ÿ™ but found one final full one in the back corner of the fridge ๐Ÿ™‚ In addition to cucumbers I love to add thinly sliced raw turnips to the leftover pickled beet liquid. It’s my not-even-close approximation to Lebanese turnip pickles, and I like them on grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Amazing work for a neglected January garden!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:41 am

      My chard is still kicking too, although I always have problems with it growing big enough to harvest. Maybe I’ll finally be able to this spring. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I should try pickling turnips! Now that I pickled radishes, I’m all jazzed about pickling.

  • Reply
    Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice
    January 31, 2013 at 5:48 am

    Oh boy do I understand all of that! We neglected our zucchinis for a few days too long, and when we finally went out to pick them, they were MASSIVE. Borderline rude, seriously ๐Ÿ™‚

    My bet is that your kale will be amazing. We have lots of frost where our veggie patch is (on my husband’s family farm), and after a particularly harsh winter, our kale was beautifully mild tasting and lush. I’m sure yours will be extra good to compensate for the others going to seed.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I hope you’re right about the kale! I have been waiting patiently for my plants to have enough leaves to harvest. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Bobbie
    January 31, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I love that you have a garden in January.

  • Reply
    BusyWorkingMama
    January 31, 2013 at 10:34 am

    That’s a beautiful garden harvest! My winter garden was a flop, everything picked over by deer! Live and learn ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

      I’m sure we’ll have the same problem once they finish building houses down the street! Now I think the animals are scared off by the construction, but there are so many deer in the woods by us, I’m sure they’ll be all up in my garden soon…

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