Monday, December 31, 2012

Graffiti Adds Color to the Garden

In the blandish, brown of the winter landscape, the vegetable garden provides many shades of green and sometimes a little something extra.

This year I'm growing that something extra in a purple cauliflower called Graffiti.  Look at this fabulous color.

I bet Graffiti will look beautiful on a plate, since it retains it's purple color when cooked.  Graffiti tastes like regular cauliflower, but with the added bonus of powerful antioxidants that come with purple vegetables. The heads seem a little smaller than the traditional white, so I'm giving this one more time to grow.

The traditional white cauliflower shown below is ready for harvest.  The unseasonably warm weather we were experiencing only a few weeks ago wreaks havoc on cool season vegetables causing them to bolt prematurely.  This cauliflower is a big improvement over my first two harvests which were not nearly as attractive as this specimen.

The warm temperatures of early December caused mixed results with broccoli this year.  Some broccoli heads flowered prematurely like the one pictured below.  The pretty little yellow flowers are favorites with the bees.  At the end of the season, I'll let the broccoli flower for them, but it's a little too early for flowers at this point.

Some of my broccoli plants produced the largest heads I've ever pulled out of my garden.  In the picture below the primary head has already been harvested, but the side shoots of this plant are as big as the primary heads on other plants.  That means more yummy broccoli for soups, roasting and maybe some slaw.

I thought I was on my way to wonderful stand of carrots this year, but apparently some other creature thought the carrots looked pretty good as well.  I'm guessing this is the work of a no good, wascally wabbit.  Whatever ate my carrots also ate my celery plants along with some other choice produce along the edges of beds on the western side of my garden.  Hmmm, I wonder what goes good with rabbit stew?

The Brussels Sprouts are coming along nicely.  I should be harvesting some sprouts next month. 

When little else in the landscape is adding new growth, it's a joy to see new shoots like the ones on this Dinosaur Kale.

The Red Russian Kale is not as vigorous as the Dinosaur Kale, but it's purple veins and oak leaf-like foliage are a pretty addition to the garden.

These last couple of years I've gotten into the habit of growing extra produce for "the girls".  Chard, kale and cabbage are the menu today.  Adding winter greens to their diet improves the quality of their eggs and they really seem to enjoy the treat.


  1. I love your winter garden! Sorry about the rabbits ... I fight them here too. Happy New Year to you, Ally!

  2. Happy New Year Cat! Good luck with your rascally rabbits!

  3. I'm amazed at your veggie garden! Your purple cauliflower looks really cool. Any idea on how you are going to prepare it? Our broccoli bolted early as well. I thought it was flowering early. Your kale looks so healthy. What is our secret? Happy New Year!

    1. Cauliflower steaks are my latest cooking obsession. I prepare them simply in a frying plan with olive oil and garlic. I love the crunchy little bits that end up good and browned. I think the secret to my vegetable gardening success is copious amounts of homemade compost. I add compost to my beds each time I prepare them for planting. Happy New Year!

  4. Your garden looks great. For some reason, I have yet to get a winter garden going this year. Another thing for the 'to do' list.

    Strangely, we've never seen any rabbits here. We always had them inside the privacy fence in our old suburban garden. We only have the deer eating things, here.

    Love that purple cauliflower....never seen one that bright.

  5. The purple cauliflower is beautiful. What did you feed that thing? It's huge too.

    Cindy S.

    1. Must be that wonderful compost that Richard keeps cooking up. The chickens really contribute and now we're getting coffee grounds through the Ground to Ground Program. Check out this link. You can get free spent coffee grounds from participating stores. Hopefully, one will be coming to your neighborhood soon.

  6. That is a very purple cauliflower! I'd live to grow one like that. I just found your blog, and I think I'll be following you from now on. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous garden.