It was 19 degrees today with a low of 2 predicted for tonight. I knew it was time to harvest the leeks before they froze into the ground. We’ve had a lot of below freezing temperatures, but I had the leeks well covered with a layer of agricultural fabric topped over with a layer of polyethylene. I was hoping they were doing alright.
To my pleasant surprise, the earth under the cover was soft and moist even though the ground surrounding the leek bed was frozen solid. The ground was so warm, in fact, that earthworms were working the soil.
I started the harvest using a small border fork, but I soon switched to the broadfork, which made the work go a lot faster. It only took about 20 minutes to get half the leeks dug out and into a wheel barrow.
I decided to trust my good luck and re-cover the other half for a later harvest, since I knew Judy wouldn’t want to deal with all those leeks at one time. Still in the ground are the cold hardy American Flag leeks. I may consider packing them in with leaves over the next couple days to see how far into the winter, or even spring, we can keep them going.
These leeks are a variety called Lincoln. They are considered an early harvest leek. Here the roots and leaves have been trimmed off and the outer wraps removed. A couple inches of the top green parts that are not tender will be cut away. Some will be stored in the refrigerator, but most will be chopped and frozen.