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sfmacaws


Aug 28, 2006, 12:54 AM

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Growing winter vegetables

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So, I've been researching rutabaga's lately <g>, mainly looking at ways to freeze them. In the process I discovered that they are mainly grown in Canada and the northern US as they are sweeter if matured in cold weather. Thus, they are a fall crop.

It gets pretty darn cold at the higher elevations in Mexico, I remember it being below 32* overnight in San Cristobal last January with frost on everything in the morning. I'm wondering if things like rutabagas and turnips wouldn't do really well there if planted in the fall. This is something that this inquiring MexConnecter would like to find out. If a pack of rutabaga seeds fell behind my couch and I didn't discover them until I was in Chiapas this winter I wonder if Brigitte could find a spot in the remodeled garden of the colonial casa in San Cris for a test rutabaga plot?

So far in this endeaver, I have learned how to 'blanch' rutabaga's so that they can be frozen. Turns out it takes 2 minutes in a boiling bath and then drying and quick freezing - all this after peeling and chunking. My freezer in the RV isn't what anyone would call fast, I don't know if that matters a lot or a little. I have a test batch (1 rutabaga) in there now. Has anyone else tried freezing rutabaga's or turnips? Wendy perhaps? They supposedly grow the best up in Canada.

Is there another way to preserve their essential yumminess without freezing?


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán





Anonimo

Aug 28, 2006, 4:13 AM

Post #2 of 25 (8583 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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Quote
Is there another way to preserve their essential yumminess without freezing?

Kimchee, perhaps? Salted and dried?

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


wendy devlin

Aug 28, 2006, 1:48 PM

Post #3 of 25 (8554 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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Haven't frozen rutabagas so cannot advise on that subject.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, rutabagas are commonly sown in May/June for fall harvest. Then they can either stay in the ground until an extended period of hard frost(usually happening here in Jan/Feb. Alternately they are harvested around November and stored in dry cool conditions where they keep until warmer spring temperatures cause them to sprout.

Many moons ago about two hundred miles north of Spokane Washington, my potato crop was less than normal. The rutabagas on the other hand grew like stink. As they only fetched about 12 cents a pound, I decided to keep most of them.

Thus began, the 'winter of the rutabaga':)

I experimented with many recipes. One of our favorites was 'scalloped' rutabagas, similiar to scalloping potatoes only, par-boiling the roots first as they take much longer to bake than potatoes. The kids weren't fond of the root in general but enjoyed them cooked this way. As did other guests who said that they never ate rutabagas.


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Aug 28, 2006, 1:50 PM)


sfmacaws


Aug 28, 2006, 11:34 PM

Post #4 of 25 (8527 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Growing winter vegetables

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Thanks Wendy, loved "the winter of the rutabaga"!

My test batch look pretty good actually. I haven't thawed any out to test them but they seem solid, not mushy, and fresh looking.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Bubba

Aug 31, 2006, 7:34 AM

Post #5 of 25 (8490 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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I wonder if Brigitte could find a spot in the remodeled garden of the colonial casa in San Cris for a test rutabaga plot

Thanks for the thought Jonna but probably not as there is not that much space. It is I ,Bubba, who loves rutabagas and not (necessarily) Brigitte and guess who will be in charge of any garden. However, some seeds would be welcome as it does get pretty chilly down there in the winter. No hard freeze though.

I still plan to look for rutabagas in the indigenous market seasonally. Some of the farmers live at a much higher level than San Cristobal so maybe there is a demand for them. They have many fruits and vegetables not seen around here in Ajijic.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 31, 2006, 7:36 AM)


wendy devlin

Aug 31, 2006, 10:04 AM

Post #6 of 25 (8476 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Growing winter vegetables

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The fruit/vegetable, flower market in San Cristobol most memorable.

However, haven't been there for a long time. Back then most of the women in indigenous dress, asked the same price for their wares, about .60 cents.

It didn't make much sense at the time, given the different amounts available for 60 cents, the relative weights etc. Was still thinking in terms of price per pound, although mentally trying to calcuate price per kilo.

However, every since then I've sold vegetables and now do the same as those little ladies! After checking around at the market with mis paisanas first:)

Thinking of growing out my hair longer and plaiting it in braids.
Already pile up the fruits, vegetables into little pyramids...and sell on a piece of Guatemalan cloth.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


sfmacaws


Aug 31, 2006, 11:46 AM

Post #7 of 25 (8467 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Growing winter vegetables

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Don't forget the "Bling" Wendy!




Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




wendy devlin

Aug 31, 2006, 1:06 PM

Post #8 of 25 (8454 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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Whoo-ha, Jonna! Bling's the Thing.

Hear that the mamas who control the market in Juchitlán, wear necklaces of rare Spanish gold coins to show they are women of means.

However the lass on the grass, third photo from the left, has got to some collecting to do.

http://www.agriculturepowellriver.org/Index.htm


sfmacaws


Aug 31, 2006, 1:26 PM

Post #9 of 25 (8448 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Growing winter vegetables

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Nice picture! and is that Sr Arbon sitting to your left?

I have to admit that the woman with the 'bling' is actually from Guatemala, Santiago Atitlan on the shores of Lake Atitlan. As Bubba says, Chiapas is just Guatemala Norte so I thought it would work.

The women in the market of Juchitlán control the money and a lot more it is said. A friend said he would have to cover his privates in embarrassment when he was 14 and visiting the market there because of the ribald comments and gropes from the women. IMHO, a good experience for the average Mexican man.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




wendy devlin

Aug 31, 2006, 2:52 PM

Post #10 of 25 (8435 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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Crikey!
Señor Arbon wanted me to edit my last post that it was indeed NOT him sitting on the bale of straw.

However, the friend beside me is also ex-Brit. Coincidence?

Yes, the most interesting account that I've read about the women of Juchitlán was in a chapter in Isabelle Tree's book, "Sliced Iguanas".

At the invitation of a Mexican City acquaintence , Isabelle was invited 'home' to Juchitlán for a visit for a few weeks. Her description of the all boy's, 'girl' basketball team, playing in a 'league of their own', being cheered on by their mamas from the sidelines is forever etched upon my memory.

Evidentially, according to this writer, it is commonly the pride of these particular Mexican mamas that they have a, gay son.

A different slice of Mexico.


MazDee

Aug 31, 2006, 8:21 PM

Post #11 of 25 (8416 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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Please, where is Juchitlán. Thank you.


sfmacaws


Sep 1, 2006, 11:34 PM

Post #12 of 25 (8382 views)

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Re: [MazDee] Growing winter vegetables

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well, oops! I didn't check the name so we may have a confusion going here. The place I was talking about is in Oaxaca down in the isthmus and the correct name is Juchitan de Zaragoza. A near by city that is more famous is Tehuantepec (Santo Domingo Tehuantepec). I got out the Guia Roji and got the names right this time. The indigenous women in this area are very famous in Mexico for being in charge of the money, business and being very assertive with their men. The men mainly work the fields, the women run things. So it is said. They are also famous for being a bit ummmm... crude I guess is the way to say it. They are known for making cracks about men that more resemble how men in Mexico react towards women. Also, they are accepting - and perhaps even encouraging - towards cross dressing/effeminate men. Their traje is beautiful and justly famous. If you have seen the popular self-portrait of Frida with a ruffled, embroidered headpiece, she was wearing Tehuana traje. The headpiece thing looks like a small childs shirt, it has sleeve looking things that come out the sides. Here's a link to Tehuantepec http://www.surf-mexico.com/...ehuantepec/index.php I found on a quick Google.

It's a fascinating area to visit but other than the Tehuanas it's not a great part of the country. The wind blows all the time and it is hot and humid as well.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




wendy devlin

Sep 2, 2006, 6:59 AM

Post #13 of 25 (8374 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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Juchitan de Zaragoza is not known as a tourist center. By several accounts, should you go there, you might find it just a dusty, old town, with nothing much out of the ordinary going on.

Best bet of seeing Tehuanas decked out in their finery, might be during a fiesta or perhaps a little at the Market.

Maybe. Leave hubby in the car:)


tonyburton


Sep 2, 2006, 9:53 AM

Post #14 of 25 (8359 views)

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Juchitán and Tehuantepec

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While Juchitán is perhaps not particularly well-known as a tourist destination, it is a fascinating place, with a truly outstanding central plaza. Mexico Connect articles include numerous references to both Juchitán and Tehuantepec (both in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec). For a picture of the floral dresses referred to in a previous post, see http://www.mexconnected.com/...icles/tbdid0703.html


Bubba

Sep 2, 2006, 11:15 AM

Post #15 of 25 (8350 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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The place I was talking about is in Oaxaca down in the isthmus and the correct name is Juchitan de Zaragoza. A near by city that is more famous is Tehuantepec (Santo Domingo Tehuantepec).

Well, Jonna, Brigitte and I have the pleasure of staying in Tehuantepec when we drive from Oaxaca City to San Cristobal. It´s the perfect stopover on the lengthy but beautiful drive. The last time we were there they were having a street festival that was tremendous fun. Sure enough, the women were running things and passing out mescal to strangers including Bubba. The men sat around long tables and were kept docile by beer in abundance. We men are simple folk, after all. The women also passed out food that was very good and the locals were pleased to have us join their parade.

Maybe next time we make that drive (this winter) we´ll stop in Juchitan instead which is just up the road from Tehuantepec. I´m just afraid Brigitte might stay. She fits all the necessary criteria to be welcomed into the community. Crude, tending toward extravagant attire and meaner than a junk yard dog.

For those of you tempted to make this drive, do not think that Salina Cruz would be a better stop just because it is on the sea. A butt uglier town in Mexico there ain´t.

What this has to do with winter vegetables beats me.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Sep 2, 2006, 11:16 AM)


Bubba

Sep 2, 2006, 7:50 PM

Post #16 of 25 (8321 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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When we were in Tehuantepec our friend wanted to say hello to the Tehuantepec bishop who came from Ajijic and we tracked him down in Juchitan where his residence is.
We stayed in Tehuantepec and were invited by some of the women on the square to join in the fiesta. It was a blast and very interresting to see the differences in the culture between two Zapotec groups, the matriarchal society of the Isthmus versus the patriarchal society of the central valley of Oaxaca: one of the younger women was very cute, I asked her why the women chose black velvet for their finest clothes in a such a hot anfd humid climate. The woman was dripping of gold from the earings to the necklaces with coins the bracelets etc..offering mescal to all the attendees, she smiled and said ¨"because it is the most expensive fabric we can find". By the way I have noticed they have several levels of clothes depending on the type of fiesta they attend, The velvet is their fanciest costume but they have at least to other way to dress. What a difference with my friends from Teotitlan who walk around with their aprons on during the festivals and barely attend any public events.


sfmacaws


Sep 2, 2006, 7:59 PM

Post #17 of 25 (8318 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Growing winter vegetables

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It is a remarkable culture, obviously one I like a lot better than the patriarchal ones. I have a feeling this last post was by Brigitte and not Bubba.

Clearly though, this one before it was from Bubba:

Quote
Maybe next time we make that drive (this winter) we´ll stop in Juchitan instead which is just up the road from Tehuantepec. I´m just afraid Brigitte might stay. She fits all the necessary criteria to be welcomed into the community. Crude, tending toward extravagant attire and meaner than a junk yard dog.


To which I have to say, "my kind of woman!"


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




bfwpdx

Sep 26, 2006, 2:18 PM

Post #18 of 25 (8243 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Growing winter vegetables

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I am a little late to contribute to this thread, but here goes. I also live in Canada and on the Pacific side, so have as big a winter garden as the summer version. I grow Swedes (rutabagas) or neeps, because my family is Scottish Canadian and Scots love their mashed neeps. That's the reason so many Canadians grew up on mashed turnip...because so many of us came from Scotland or the northern part of England. I start them off sometime like Wendy said between mid-May and mid-June and I leave them in the ground until I eat them, or until they start going soft. Last winter it was after Xmas. I froze them by cooking and mashing them and then freezing them in family sized portions. Defrosted you couldn't tell the difference from cooked fresh. I also grow winter beets and leave them in the ground til wanted. The best root veggie for me are parsnips, which I roast around the meat in the oven. I use special seed from www.saltspringseed.com and what they say about this heritage variety is true. It grows about 4" across and 24" long. For my family, one row is good enough. If you leave one in the ground to set seed you will always have your own seed for future parsnips. The other winter crop I grow very successfully is Scottish kale (the reddish tinged flat fringed kind, NOT the fancy hybrid frilly kind) which is tremendously high in vitamins and stir fries very nicely in winter. I think it could grow very nicely in a colder area of the central highlands. The other winter veggies I grow are the usual ones for our climate here, Purple Sprouting broccoli which I eat starting about february, winter lettuces and greens, and winter leeks which are delicious.

I would be very interested in knowing if anyone tries any of these down there and if they have success.

Barbara


arbon

Sep 26, 2006, 4:05 PM

Post #19 of 25 (8234 views)

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Re: [bfwpdx] Growing winter vegetables

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So Barbara, where are you going to be (area) on Burns night?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



bfwpdx

Sep 26, 2006, 4:52 PM

Post #20 of 25 (8225 views)

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Re: [arbon] Growing winter vegetables

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With any luck, sitting on my mirador near Jocoetepec...how 'bout you Arbon? January 25th is a long time to plan ahead....LOL


sfmacaws


Sep 26, 2006, 8:01 PM

Post #21 of 25 (8212 views)

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Re: [bfwpdx] Growing winter vegetables

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OK, La Familia Bubba! I'll fly and buy but you need to figure out what seeds you want? I'm having a tough time finding rutabega seeds here in Calif but I have high hopes for finding them in Texas or Louisiana.

My frozen rutabega chunks seem fine so I'll chunk up another batch before I leave here.

I have some heirloom tomato seeds and something else I've forgotten - just like I seem to have forgotton where I put them, it will come to me - and I'm willing to mule others if you want. Right now it looks like we'll be over in San Cris around the end of January.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




wendy devlin

Sep 27, 2006, 9:31 AM

Post #22 of 25 (8183 views)

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Re: [bfwpdx] Growing winter vegetables

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Well Barbara, I certainly look up that parsnip from saltspring seed.
Dan Jason's a friend of mine, but we usually 'talk' garlic and tomatoes:)

arbon and I looked after my grandfather from county Ayr, Scotland for seven years, before he died at 92.

As long as we served him oatmeal for breakfast, and neeps now and again, he was a happy man.

A friend's teenage son in Guadalajara was keen to learn the bag-pipes. Imagine the sounds of a practicing bag-pipe there!


bfwpdx

Sep 27, 2006, 10:01 AM

Post #23 of 25 (8177 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Growing winter vegetables

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Wendy, let me know if you want to try the parsnip. I have lots of seed from my plants this year to share.

Barbara


wendy devlin

Sep 27, 2006, 12:53 PM

Post #24 of 25 (8162 views)

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Re: [bfwpdx] Growing winter vegetables

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Golly geez...pretty please Barbara. Sure I'll try your parsnip seed.

Does this mean you're a dedicated seed saver?

I save many varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds. Might have a little something you might be looking for.

(Maybe you could mule down a little something for Bubba, too:)

BTW Seeds still cross borders, legally easier than live plants.

Last year, in B.C. I met a Mexican woman from Mazatlán who has owned a plant nursery here for the past 25 years.

She was quite the smuggler in her day.

Once bringing a particularly beautiful slip of a begonia back in her bra from Paris.


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Sep 27, 2006, 12:54 PM)


bfwpdx

Sep 27, 2006, 1:16 PM

Post #25 of 25 (8156 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Growing winter vegetables

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Sure no problem. I would say I am a dedicated novice at seed saving LOL. Are you in BC or in Mexico right now? If you want, PM me with your address if you are in BC. I can send lots of seed (parsnip or otherwise)for BUBBA too...One thing I noted with the parsnip, is that it starts going brown on the outside before Christmas. However, I still left some in the ground for another couple of months and just cut out the rot when I lifted them. I had to use a trenching shovel to dig them out!
 
 
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