Backyard Garden Under Snow2 Small


I was just not prepared for snow.  Not in my garden, wardrobe, or attitude.  It’s not typical to get snow in Vancouver, particularly in November, so it’s reasonable to be unprepared.  The beet greens, parsnip tops, chard, kale, lettuce and all my winter vegetables got smooshed and frozen for a week.   And the trees weren’t prepared.  Leaves hadn’t fallen yet so the sticky white stuff brought down my 50-year old lilac and crushed a few other hardy growers.  One day it’s fall, then next, winter.  That’s just the way it is. 


I got out a few days before the dump and covered my rosemary, sage and gai lan with greenhouse umbrellas which may help a bit.  As you can see by the photos, it’s a bit like trying to drink a swimming pool.

My weekly home-grown vegetable adventures weren’t a total bust though.  Just before the dump, I managed to get a few parsnips from the ground and make a lovely parsnip and white bean soup with crispy parsnips.  It was delish.


Now that the ground has thawed a bit I’ll try to dig up the potatoes I left at the community plot (whoops) and I pulled some beets.  Greens are wilty but the roots are plump and sweet.  I hope to continue pulling the roots for as long as I can, but I think that the winter vegetable starts are a write off for the year so I’ve set up the automatic sprouter indoors and I’ll grow my greens there for now.  

It’s been an interesting week or two we have been having here, so it’s great to have a look over at Daphne’s Dandelions to see what others are harvesting elsewhere.

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Laura
    LauraNovember 29,10

    I still have some potatoes in the ground. A few carrots too. Ran to the patch to see if I could pull one while we were making snowmen with the kids. I pulled and pulled and they wouldn’t come out! After a duh moment I realized they were frozen and my efforts were futile ;) What do you do!

  2. michelle
    michelleNovember 29,10

    We’ve been chilly here as well, but not like what you’ve been enduring! Oh I wish I could have gotten parsnips started this year, I bet yours were delicious, they are such an under-appreciated veggie.

  3. Veggie PAK
    Veggie PAKNovember 29,10

    The parsnips are very nice indeed! But the SNOW! BRRRR!!!

  4. Katherine
    KatherineNovember 29,10

    We got dumped on by a lot of snow here, as well, much earlier than we’re used to!

  5. Kat White
    Kat WhiteNovember 29,10

    I know what you mean about being unprepared in attitude. We don’t have snow, but it has been unseasonably cold and no one seems ready. We never really had summer and we had about three weeks of fall. Hopefully spring will surprise us early.

  6. Crafty Gardener
    Crafty GardenerNovember 30,10

    Yikes, you sure did get a lot of snow. DD lives just outside of Victoria and they got lots too.

  7. Daphne Gould
    Daphne GouldNovember 30,10

    Well at least it is petty. I’m happy to say we haven’t had snow yet. I don’t know if my coverings can handle much snow, but we will see.

  8. kitsapFG
    kitsapFGNovember 30,10

    I know what you mean by the sudden switch from mild fall to flat out winter. No easing transition! I bet your umbrellas do a fine job of preserving some of the crops despite the cold and snow. It’s amazing what a little protection will do for hardy plants.

  9. meemsnyc
    meemsnycNovember 30,10

    Wow, look at all that snow!!!!! I am so dreading snow in our area. It’s such a mess when it snows here. Those white turnips look amazing. I bet they taste awesome.

  10. Lori E
    Lori ENovember 30,10

    Yes but you forgot to mention that 2 days later our snow is usually gone and forgotten until the next time…or will this be one of “those” years like they predict.

  11. Andrea
    AndreaNovember 30,10

    Wasn’t it something? At least it was gone in a day or two. But from the sounds of it, this is just the start! I’m happy to move into planning-for-next-year mode, though, since I didn’t do much in the way of winter gardening this year.

  12. Backyard Misting Systems
    Backyard Misting SystemsDecember 2,10

    Sorry to hear about your weekly veggies. Looks like a tough climate to grow anything.

  13. Grace
    GraceDecember 2,10

    Crazy weather. I’m sorry about your lilac. It wasn’t quite so cold down south here in Oregon but still we got hit with a dusting and a few below freezing nights. I hope this is the extent of the cold stuff. I’ll take the rain any day over the cold. Even though it is pretty as your photos so aptly depict.

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