Vegetables for your Christmas Dinner

There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of eating your Christmas dinner and knowing that earlier that morning the vegetables had been growing in your garden. If you have room to raise chickens or turkeys, you can even raise your own meat!

It is very easy to grow a wide variety of vegetables which can be harvested over the winter. Certainly, Brussel Sprouts, the traditional Christmas vegetable, are one of the easiest and most rewarding. Sow the seed and sit back and wait. Harvest your sprouts from the bottom up and when you have run out of sprouts, the tops can be used for Spring greens.

Apart from Brussel Sprouts, you can also harvest Kale, Cauliflower, Carrots and Parsnips at Christmas. (If you have planned ahead, you will also have home grown Peas and Beans in your freezer. What more can you want? Well, potatoes of course. You will already have these stored.

It is easy to store potatoes. When you harvest your old potatoes, then make sure they have no blemishes and are perfectly dry, then just put them in a dark sack or bag. They need to be stored away from light and heat, although they do not want to be frozen. They will last months like that. New potatoes are treated slightly differently. These are stored iin dry compost. Again, they need to be kept cool but not frozen.

If potatoes see light when they are growing or even after they have been harvested, they go green and green potatoes are poisonous. They will not kill you but they could give you a nasty stomach ache.  If they are stored too warm, they will sprout and go soft. Not what you want in potatoes.

If for some reason, you want to harvest your root vegetables early, then they can be stored in a cool, dark place in sand or dry peat. Make sure they are not damaged in any way before storing them. They must be dry or rot will set in and any damage will rapidly spread  throughout the crop. Check all your stored vegetables from time to time to ensure they are not being attacked by any pests or diseases.

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