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Success! Harvesting through snow after subzero temperatures

 
steward
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hugelkultur urban chicken food preservation bike bee
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Well, after paying $2.99 for a small bunch of collard greens (imported from California) from my local organic grocery, I decided to get out there and dig through the snow to see what was happening. I found a collard plant and a lacinato kale, frozen solid, but with properly green leaves. I harvested leaves by grabbing them one at a time and pulling sideways, filling a plastic shopping bag.

I've brought them inside, and lo and behold, they have thawed into crisp leaves! (I was worried they might thaw into mush--I was still going to try to make kale chips, but this is terrific!)

We've gotten below zero in the past week, but these leaves are fine. Some of them have dessicated spots, but not much. Definitely worth getting cold.
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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I really like your post maybe we should start a section for winter harvest esp winter green and root harvest to show to people whats possible.
I feel that alot of people buy the extra summer/fall foodforest thing but very few see it working for winter spring.
 
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I made kale chips to go with Christmas dinner with the kale I harvested in the snow. Everyone liked it and it's really easy.
 
Julia Winter
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Kale/Collard chips are yummy, and more popular than many other ways to prepare green leaves. I've made them a few times, and this is what I've come up with. It's easy to have too much oil on the leaves. The best way I've found to prepare the leaves is to first remove the center ribs, cutting the leaves in half, and stack them up in the biggest bowl I have.


Then I dribble olive oil on the pile and start rubbing it onto the leaves--like applying lotion, really. Then I sprinkle with salt and rub around some more (I've also had issues with too much salt, but no salt is not popular). Some recipes use a spice mix in addition to salt, and that's very nice. You want your spices finely ground. Then I lay them out on cooling racks in baking pans in a single layer (you could probably get by without the rack, but you might have to go in and turn them over halfway through).


I put the leaves into the oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, but I've seen all sorts of temperatures for doing this. I figure a lower temperature preserves more nutrients. I'm lucky in that I have a convection oven, so I have it set to "convection roast" and it blows hot air over and under the leaves so I don't have to turn them. I've heard of making kale chips in a dehydrator, but I haven't tried it.
 
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We do that with kale here in Fairbanks. It's one of my work saving strategies; no need for blanching and freezing and all that; just a bit of digging in the snow. Brussels sprouts work pretty good too.
 
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S Bengi wrote:I really like your post maybe we should start a section for winter harvest esp winter green and root harvest to show to people whats possible.
I feel that alot of people buy the extra summer/fall foodforest thing but very few see it working for winter spring.



I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a section on Winter Harvest or a Far North section. There are so many of us that live with harsh winters.
 
Julia Winter
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Here's a picture to show how much the leaves shrink when baked:
 
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Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
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Somebody dumped a pair of meat rabbits nearby, and they have now ate all our greens. They are just running around here like they own the place. I might just have to eat them!
 
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The Amish Use Straw a great deal to yield early crops.
 
Time is mother nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once. And this is a tiny ad:
3 Plant Types You Need to Know: Perennial, Biennial, and Annual
https://permies.com/t/96847/Pros-cons-perennial-biennial-annual
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