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Second Monday of the New Year…

Back to the proclivity of writing on Monday, it would seem. However this mostly is to be a shorter post to front & to ameliorate my recent excess in verbosity. For any reader coming to that recap as introduction to my blog I ought to offer an apology! I am glad all that is out there, if for no other reason than that I am thus less burdened in here. Sometimes it seems I just gotta write it out or else live with some sort of cramp…

The day outside the window shows slices of titanium & well faded velvet… It has continued more or less to rain, as it was doing late last afternoon while I picked a salad of spinach, red mustard & arugula… greens made sturdy by being planted too late yet surviving the struggles with cold & Solstice dark. They made a fine winter salad with that tenacity.

The happier harvest was a batch of the Mashua tubers Stephen has been after me to dig. Those vaguely rude shapes of waxy golden white, blushing purple & pink, are the favorite wintertime treat from our garden. The vines, which covered their trellis this summer with handsome dense foliage & which were blooming during December are still green & mostly vital. Our frosts have been light.

When Doug-OH! & I dug some at Thanksgiving the crunchy starchy guys, with a zippy nasturtium bite, were still small. I found that they had sized up nicely during the intervening month. Most plant’s roots had clumps with 3 or 4 in the six-inch range & then twice that number more in various finger-like sizes. We enjoy them best sliced thinly as raw nibbles, but they are delicious when roasted as well… mellowing while they soften. The trick is saving back enough to replant!

I am trying to encourage other gardeners to grow this rewarding plant. It is a Peruvian nasturtium which was grown by the Incas as a starch. It has small beautifully lobed leaves, vining densely. Leading tips are tasty as in summer salads. Small orange flowers come along to grace late fall’s dwindling stock of decorative edibles. Then the winter taste bomb bonanza of tubers brings this plant to the top of my gardener’s list. Let me know if you want seed…