Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beets, Carrots, Turnips: One Last Supper

Last harvest from Garden 2011
When I heard the temperature was going to drop into the low 20s just after New Year’s, I took a bucket to our vegetable garden and pulled the last of our late-season root crops: a half dozen or so Cylindra beets, three Short ‘n Sweet carrots, and a dozen Golden Globe turnips.  On one of those April-like days last week, I washed the veggies and that evening we savored roasted vegetables—one last supper from Veggie Garden 2011.

As I washed and pared them, the two-thirds bucket of roots, to which we added some garlic, two large onions, and five potatoes, tossed with some olive oil and sprinkled with some crushed rosemary, slimmed down considerably to two cookie sheets of chopped veggies ready for a 425°F oven for about an hour.

Last supper from Garden 2011
Ah, what a dish—so simple to put together that I can name and pronounce all the ingredients—so fragrant while the veggies are roasting—so mouth watering with earthy chunks of beets, sweet carrots, and tongue-assaulting turnips.  What a soul-satisfying dish to set before a veggie gardener. 
Even the potatoes that had nestled with beets blushed a bit in delight.

This feast reminded me that many root vegetables store well in place in the garden until the temperature sinks into the teens and the soil freezes deep enough to freeze the veggies.  It also reminded me that I should plant more rutabagas next summer and forget about the strong-flavored turnips that are prone to slug damage, though I did get three solid turnips out of two short rows.

The only edibles left in our garden now are the three Red Sails lettuce plants in my experimental mini-greenhouse, and they may be damaged tonight (Jan. 15) if the forecast of “temperatures in the teens” is accurate.

If you missed my posting about slugs damaging my turnips, CLICK HERE.


  1. I cannot wait until my very own Garden 2012. :) Those root veggies must have been divine. Do you add rock minerals and such to your beds?

  2. I've amended our "heavy" Maryland soil--primarily clay--with lots of compost through the years. I get a pickup load of composed leaves/horse manure every spring at our county recycling center for less than $20.