It is difficult for the winter vegetables get by with the weather this season. The temperatures are low and the hours of sunshine are few. In fact, on paper it would seem the worst season to decide to grow. Yet in a garden life never rests, nature continues to bear fruit and plants require care. Those who have their own vegetable garden know this well: there is always something to do even in winter and it is also necessary to look after the winter vegetables. There are not very many but there are, there are vegetables that grow despite the frosts, which resist and are harvested between the last and the first months of the year.
Winter vegetables: climate
It is trivial to talk about perhaps winter weather, we all know how it is. It is also true that there may be strong variations depending on the areas of the country where you find yourself having and tending a vegetable garden. If we are in the Po Valley or in northern Italy, we know that frosts are frequent and in the months of December, January and February there are very few vegetables that resist. On the contrary, if we are in the south of our peninsula we can take advantage of the mild climate and grow many more autumn vegetables, with satisfaction.
Winter vegetables: types
Among the vegetables that winter gives us, we can distinguish two different types. Some must be planted at the end of autumn to be born and develop at the end of winter and mature during the spring. In this category we find peas, broad beans, onions and garlic, for example. Other winter vegetables, however, must be planted in the summer months and then harvested during the winter as happens for cabbage, leeks and fennel. Then there is a third category of winter vegetables, perennial ones such as rhubarb and artichoke which remain in the field all year round, including winter.
Winter vegetables: list
- chard from ribs
- Fava beans
- rocket salad
- brassica Mizuna
- Jerusalem artichoke
- turnip greens
- horseradish (Cren)
- white endive
- Brussels sprouts
Winter vegetables to grow
During the winter months, if we have a vegetable garden, we can take advantage of it to grow some vegetables that “love” this harsh climate. Among these there are fennel and leeks to be sown in summer. Both resist well to autumn and when winter arrives they are ready to be picked, they do not like frosts and can pay the damage, better to collect them first.
There pumpkin it is one of the classic vegetables that are perfect in winter. It is usually harvested in autumn, until November, but then it is kept for a long time, even for several months, so it can be eaten safely in winter.
In the vegetable garden in winter we also find Savoy cabbage, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and many varieties of cabbage that we can harvest between October and December after sowing them in the summer.
Among the vegetables that tolerate harsh climates well there are salads and carrots. Among the salads we find chicory, radicchio, catalogna, chicory, endive, lettuce, valerianella, rocket, all tough in the face of the cold of the winter months and which are very often grown and protected with a non-woven fabric that makes them cultivable until November.
Carrots, along with radishes, chard, beetroot, turnip greens, celery, parsley, spinach, are in the category of cold vegetables, they can be harvested until the end of autumn. Even artichokes and asparagus are resistant vegetables and then we find the bulb lilacs, that is garlic, onion and shallot. The latter can be left in the garden throughout the winter while legumes can be sown between October and November, to have the harvest at the end of spring, especially broad beans and peas are suitable for autumn sowing.
In addition to some brave vegetables, in winter we also find particularly cold-resistant herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme. Rosemary is an evergreen and even sage does not feel the cold, then there is saffron which is harvested in November and develops its leaf part during the coldest months of the year. Mint has a different behavior: it loses the aerial part, to return to develop in spring.
To conclude, let's take a look at the recipes with which to taste the fruits of our garden, even in the coldest months. I suggest two particularly easy and delicious. There chickpea and spelled soup and that of the Farmer.
For the first you need dried chickpeas, to soak and then cook them in the pressure cooker together with the spelled and obtain a soup widely used in Tuscany, excellent as a single dish or as an entrée, also good for vegetarians.
There farmer soup it is a soup rich in vegetables and legumes, very rich in vitamins and substantial. Sometimes we can also find black cabbage or zucchini, tomatoes, peas and cauliflower.
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