halifaxearthtech: Mysore fruit seller (Food)

As we order seeds and start them on our windowsills and kitchen tables, the last thing we probably want to think about are supplies of local vegetables for next winter. So I'll keep it short: order your brussels sprout, chard and endive seeds now, sow and forget. In ten months you'll be glad you did.

Belgian endive flowers
Belgian Endive flowers are highly ornamental

Here are Belgian Endives I grew last summer. The beautiful mauve blossoms and roseatte of green leaves are too bitter to eat in the summertime. They were developed for a practice known as "Forcing": the brutal art of causing a plant to use up it's winter root stores to create blanched leaves of a delicate flavour in the absence of light in your basement.
Winter-forced endives
The endive forced into winter production (picture by 3.0 from Wikimedia)

You've probably seen these torpedo-shaped salad greens in select grocery stores. They are much cheaper to create on your own with a little effort. These endives were grown in my furnace room, lights-off. If you don't get around to growing endives or are short on space, you can force dandelion roots too.

After a winter of cruel and unusual agriculture, my endives are greening up nicely in my porch. I will set them out again to gather another summers-worth of energy for future basement exploits.

 Endives turn green again in spring


The endive returns to bitter-tasting life in spring's sunlight
You can read about the impressive nutritional benefits of endive on their Wikipedia page
 

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