December Garden Update

I’m baaaack! It was quite a busy Thanksgiving holiday, what with traveling and visiting and eating, and this week continues to be heckin’ busy with tech week for the play husband and I are in. (Did I mention we’re in a play? Because we are: Miracle on 34th Street! It opens this week, so exciting times!) But let’s talk gardening and winter homesteading a bit.

Ah, the late fall, early winter garden: sparse, hardy, and mostly dormant. We spent a good deal of time cutting stalks, pulling dead vines, emptying rain barrels, and storing our trellises and tomato cages until the warm weather comes again. For the most part, the garden is empty, aerated soil (thanks, annuals!), or sleepy perennials, but we do have a tasty variety of winter greens and cabbages that are sustaining us through the cold months. Wanna see? Sure you do!

I don’t believe I’ve shown your our compost pile. Well, here it is. Beautiful, isn’t it? I especially like the addition of stray collard leaves. They were covered in slugs. I stomped on the slugs. Ew.

Overall, it’s been a productive first year in the house and property (!), and for your entertainment and my own recording purposes, I’m going to document and recap what we managed to do in that span of time:

  • Establish 1500 feet of deep beds in the back lot
  • Row 1: Tiny Tim cherry tomatoes, broccoli, lima beans, bell peppers, poblano peppers
  • Row 2: cayenne peppers, banana peppers, serrano peppers, Thai chilis, ghost peppers, okra, daikon radishes, a yellow jacket nest (oops), cucumbers, arugula, lemon cucumbers
  • Row 3: Cherokee purple tomatoes, winter squash (butternut), arugula, salad greens (various), borage
  • Row 4: Oregano, catnip, lettuces, beets, beans, kale, tomatillos, pumpkin (thanks, random Crew seed project!)
  • Row 5: Mustard greens
  • Row 6: Brussels sprouts, green cabbages
  • Row 7: Parsnips
  • Row 8: Collard greens, kale
  • Row 9: Nothing yet!
  • Establish moon garden space and plant white flowers and calming herbs – moon flowers, phlox, dianthus, daisies, sage, lavender, bergamot
  • Plant berry bushes and fruits – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and figs
  • Plant first pollinator perennials – milkweed, sochan, passionflower
  • Build shelves and store pickles, preserves, and jams

I look forward to going into year two, which has chickens, a solar dehydrator, solar panels, and a front pollinator garden in the plan. Woohoo! And as always, I’ll keep you posted on our adventures along the way. Until next time, friends, garden on, and homestead, ho!


  1. Wow, really exciting information in this one! I was particularly happy to see you used Pyrethrum… such a no-brainer, in terms of its extremely low toxicity to humans, wash-offability, and ease of preparing — or even making one’s own from flowers. Also, the reference to Seymour… I found that guy’s book ‘The Guide to Self-Sufficiency’ on my dad’s bookshelf decades ago, and its pretty much solely responsible for seeding my passion for pursuing a more interdependent, old-way of providing for one’s self and family! Did you adapt his plant/harvest dates, or just assume that Asheville is like England? In any case, it seems to be working

    Super-jelly about your parsnips… we were so tuckered out from growing for the share, that we stepped back from fall growing — including what could have been some easy set-it-and-forget-it root crops, like them. So great to slice thin and dehydrate, and then have ready to go for soup, any time one wants!

    Finally, do you have any kale that you could share? I’m broadening my ferments skills, and would love to revisit a successful ‘kale-chi’ recipe that I concocted two years ago… let me know! And, good job, fellow homesteader 😉 I’ll look forward to trading more secrets and hacks with you, as the years (and the bambini, wink wink nudge nudge) come.


    • We adapted some of his planting/harvest dates, but I also cross-referenced Zone 7 suggestions – I use Seymour more for general practices and tips for keeping the plants happy. The parsnips are delicious. And we do have brassicas to spare, including kale! Collards have been our most prolific crop so far, but we definitely have some kale we can share, so come on by, fellow homesteader!


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