Extending your Garden into November and December
By planting celery, swiss chard and leeks one can enjoy the benefits of fresh soups, vegetables, and stews in November and December. These vegetables are hardy and do not die out after slightly colder weather of late November and December in Antigonish County.
The benefits to health of organically home grown vegetables are many, and taste wise they are much better than the imported ones form the south. Researchers at the University of Guelph have reported that many vegetables pick up heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium etc.), when grown in contaminated soils containing compounds of these heavy metals. With the modern agricultural practices it is hard to know what type of soil is used in growing the imported produce. Toxicological aspects of heavy metals are well characterized at high doses; but, it is difficult to predict the effects on human health at low doses present in the vegetables grown in the contaminated soils. As far as I know the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), does not check regularly for heavy metals in the imported fresh vegetables; however, measurements for various pesticides and herbicides are routinely carried out.
Recipe for Celery and Swiss chard Soup:
Pick 10 to 15 leaves of Swiss chard (depending on the leaf size), and 12 stokes of celery (with leaves from the garden.Wash it properly, and then chop it in smaller pieces and then steam it for 5 minutes.. Place 2 table spoons of butter, 2 tea spoons (10 grams) of freeze dried chicken broth in a blender, then add the steamed swiss chard and celery. Add warm water ~ 700 mls, close the lid and homogenise for few minutes in the blender.. Then add 18% cream, salt and pepper to taste, and serve it warm. Similar soup can be made with 2 medium size leeks.