The Renaissance kitchen garden continues to wind down with the fall season. Annuals have been harvested and or taken their leave as the frost nips its way into increasingly cold nights. We are lucky to be in both a high and tree protected area at the Renaissance center, which has kept the frost at bay and extended the harvest season some. The fields just below the house are commonly strewn with frost, while the garden stays somewhat untouched.
Last week showed the first true signs of frost damage on the remaining dry beans and green foliage like the fennel, that are tender. But the mugwort and hyssop, feverfew, tansy and primrose just keep on blooming away, not yet plucked by frost.
-Primrose in October
The garden will soon be put to be completely for the winter. Over the past two weeks I have been mulching thickly with straw, replenishing the pathways, trimming back plants for the season, seed saving, harvesting and planting two varieties of heirloom garlic!
-Mulched beds with straw
The most amazing sight as of late is the abundance of strawberries- in October! We are lucky to have a center circle of alpine strawberries on the more geometric side of the garden. Unlike local cultivated strawberries that fruit for a short season, alpine strawberries fruit for the entire growing season, gifting us with unusual strawberry cheer in the fall.
-Strawberries in October
Root vegetables and herbs were harvested this week for the harvest banquet put on by the Renaissance center. Huge purple top turnips, St. Valery carrot, beets, onions, giant leeks and a variety of herbs were harvested to contribute to the banquet menu. I plan to leave some roots in for the winter, as they will sweeten in the cold ground.
Purple Top Turnip
Some of the Root Harvest
Scotch Flag Giant Leeks
Check in again here to find out more about the end of season at the UMass Renaissance Centers Kitchen garden.
-Jennie Bergeron, Historical Gardener/Garden designer at the UMass Renaissance Center