Harvest in Winter with Ice-Bred and Cold Hardy Vegetables


red cabbage in snow

Red cabbage in snow

It was 30 degrees Fahrenheit last night in my Zone 6b garden and I harvested cauliflower and broccoli this morning. It’s early November and the cold-hardy brassicas and greens are still growing and maturing in anticipation of winter harvest. 

As a very lazy gardener I don’t employ any cover on my winter garden other than a little straw tucked around plants. Yet we manage to keep an excellent crop growing 10 months out of every year, including an extremely varied winter harvest. Here’s how you can too by using ice-bred and cold-hardy varieties.

What are Ice-Bred Vegetables?

Ice-breeding is the process of growing stable, open-pollinated plants, in very cold conditions and selecting seed from those with the most resistance to the cold. The term was coined by Brett Grohsgal of Even’ Star Organic Farm in Eastern Shore, Maryland. He often starts by crossing different varieties to generate greater genetic diversity.

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