Winter vegetables are those that are grown and harvested throughout the fall and into winter. The great thing about winter vegetables is that you’re able to get fresh produce locally, and for a lot less money than the vegetables shipped to and sold in your local supermarket during the winter.
Arugula is a very fast-growing vegetable. As long as there’s enough moisture in the soil, it can grow pretty much anywhere. It’s fine as long as the weather is cool, but it will die in a heavy frost. Its oily taste has a peanut buttery flavor that has always been popular with chefs, and is becoming increasingly popular with home gardeners.
Calabrese broccoli is the broccoli with the giant head that is sold at every local supermarket. It grows really fast and easily as long as it gets enough nutrients and moisture. Calabrese broccoli plants without adequate moisture produce tiny, inedible heads that eventually die off.
This kind of broccoli has many names and delicious mustardy leaves, but very few of the florets that broccoli is typically known for. It’s ready to eat 1-½ months after planting. More related to the turnip than it is to broccoli, it only grows in winter in warm climates. It’s extremely popular in Chinese cooking, and is becoming more and more popular in the West. It's a great source of vitamin C and iron.
Chives are members of the onion family, and have a light, mild flavor. They’re perfect for gardeners with little experience or little space because they grow quickly, are pretty much immune to pests and disease, and are quite pretty as they grow, with tiny purple flowers.
Cabbage comes in three primary types. There’s the drumhead (or your every day supermarket cabbage), red cabbage, and spring cabbage, which tends to be have a conical shape. They’re all harvested during spring, summer and winter, and each season brings its own specific variety. Specialty types of cabbage like the red cabbage, or smaller versions like the leprechaun, are the best types to grow if you have a garden in an urban area. They’re rich in vitamin A and C, and are excellent boiled or sautéed with butter, salt and pepper, or in salads like coleslaw. Look for heads that are nice and firm with unmarred leaves.
Kaleis a winter vegetable high in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. It's extremely hardy and can be harvested through summer, fall and into winter. It's referred to as a "cut and come again" vegetable because as you pluck its leaves, it keeps replenishing itself. It's stimulated to grow even more edible portions each time you harvest. Kale by nature is a bitter leaf, but it tends to get even more bitter the older it gets, while the younger greens have a bit of a milder taste.