The flavour of some root vegetables, such as parsnips, is enhanced by ground frost, concentrating the sweetness of the roots as the starch is converted into sugars. Seedlings of red cabbage if planted now, can be enjoyed on Christmas Day! So now is not the time to put your feet up, even though that roaring log fire may be beckoning you indoors to curl up with a good book.
If you are still harvesting your summer cabbages, one of our favourite family recipes is to cut a cabbage neatly into quarters, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes to bring out the full flavour, providing an easy side dish to accompany your Sunday roast.
If you have bare soil left from harvesting summer crops, protect it from winter erosion by planting winter tares or green manures, such as Phacelia tanacetifolia, which is a nitrogen-fixing legume that can build up your soils organic matter, improving the health of the crops that follow after it has been dug into the soil. The flowers are also a great source of nectar for those bees still on the wing, stocking up their food source before retiring for their winter dormancy.