Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Caper Caper Resumes

Last year I took a break from harvesting capers. The 2012 harvest was generous, coming in at 3.1 pounds of raw caper buds. The 2011 harvest wasn't too shabby either at 2.1 pounds. Salt preserved capers keep extremely well in the refrigerator so when the caper buds starting popping out last year and I still had a dozen jars of capers in the fridge I decided to just let the plants bloom. The plan was to harvest the caper berries instead, but that didn't happen because round about the time they were ready to harvest I was sidetracked by a medical problem and I just couldn't give a you-know-what.

The number of jars of capers is much reduced this year so I decided to replenish the stash. What I wasn't prepared for this year was to start the harvest in April, uh, actually in March. I started keeping detailed records of my harvests in 2010 and that year I harvested the first tiny picking of 3/4 ounce on May 10. In 2011 the harvest started on May 19 with a bit more impressive (hah!) harvest of 1.6 ounces. And in 2012 the harvest started off with 1 ounce collected on May 9. You can see why I don't expect to start harvesting capers in March or April. So I was amazed when I got home from vacation on March 25 this year and spotted buds on the caper bushes that were ready to harvest. Unfortunately I just couldn't get around to harvesting them until April 2 so the plants were already sporting showy blossoms. I plucked off the blossoms and every bud that was about to open and discarded them. Then I harvested 3 ounces of buds. This morning I harvested for the fourth time this month. Here they are...

Fresh caper buds

Here's the crop so far this year, the latest harvest on the left, the two previous combined in the center, and the first harvest on the right.


I've changed the method I use to preserve the capers. In the past I've prepared a brine solution and immersed the capers in it. This year I'm just mixing the fresh capers with plain coarse sea salt. The salt draws moisture out of the capers and creates a brine from their own moisture.


I keep the jars in the refrigerator and give them a shake when I think of it. The first batch may be ready soon, I'll know when they taste good, but I haven't tasted any yet.  When they are tasty I'll drain the brine, give them a rinse, and then repack them with some fresh salt.


These are some of the buds on my unusual Pink Flowering caper. This plant is also unusual because the buds develop a lot of nectar on their surfaces which is clearly visible.


These are buds on one of my Croatian plants. They also develop nectar on the surfaces of the buds but not nearly as much as the buds on the Pink Flowering plant. My fingers are always sticky when I'm finished harvesting capers. The ants collect the nectar, you can see one on the bud near the center of the photo.


These are my Croatian bushes. They are really happy this year, which is a surprise because they got very zinged when we had a few consecutive nights back in December when the temperature dipped into the low 20ºF range. Not only did the plants get frost bitten, but I also didn't get around to pruning them when I should have back in January or February. I finally trimmed out a lot of the dead stems when I harvested the first buds a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure why it is, but the plants seem to grow back most vigorously after being zinged by a freeze. If I prune out an equivalent amount of growth after a less frosty winter they don't respond as well. I'm still learning the finer points of winter care for these plants...


Here's the Croatian plants again. They are growing atop a wall and the easiest way to harvest the buds from the tops of the plants is to use the ladder, which is staying there for the season, I'm too lazy to schlep it out every time I want to harvest. Maybe I should find a prettier ladder.


Oh well, if the harvest continues as normal I'll only have to look at it until the beginning of August.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm Sow Happy

I've started sowing summer veggies and another round of spring veggies as well. Here's a classic garden blogger shot of soil filled pots.


Most of these are sown with summer vegetables including bush beans in the paper pots plus some peas for pea shoots. I don't have room in the garden to set up trellises for climbing beans or peas yet so all of these are low growers. The 4-inch pots covered with plastic are mostly sown with peppers and eggplants, I keep them covered with plastic until the seeds start to germinate. The tomatoes were quick to germinate, I sowed nearly all the solanums on the 5th and the tomatoes started popping up yesterday. This morning I spotted the first eggplants to germinate. Once the seeds germinate I start putting them outside during day and then schlep them back indoors to spend the night inside where it's more warm.


I do have a seed starting setup with heat mats and grow lights, but since I've begun starting my summer veggies later in the spring I've found it easier to just put them on a heat mat near the windows (southwest facing) and then put them outside during the day as soon as they germinate. The yogurt "pots" on the right in the top photo are zucchini. I've sown 4 pots but only 2 will go into the garden. I always sow extra seeds to be sure I've got enough plants. I've also got a couple of pots with spring brassicas that will be transplanted directly to the garden when they are large enough.

Here's what I'm trying to start so for this year:

Tomatoes:

Amish Paste, a proven winner in my garden. Thomas shared seeds with me a few years ago and they became my favorite paste tomato. They produce well in my cool summer climate, seem to be pretty disease resistant, and most importantly make excellent tomato sauce, puree, and paste. I purchased fresh seeds this year from Fedco, I hope they turn out to be as good as the old ones.

Isis Candy cherry tomato, another long time favorite that my husband adores. They are moderately productive, not too much (like sungold), nor too little, just enough to keep the two of us happy. They are tasty and pretty.

Sweet Gold cherry tomato, a new one this year. My standby favorite yellow cherry tomato, Galinas, was a dud last year so I'm giving this one a try. It's supposed to be early and productive.

Chianti Rose, a pink beefsteak that did well for me last year.

Potiron Ecarlate, a red beefsteak that was new for me last year and also did quite well.

Jaune Flamme, back for the third year, a small orange tomato with an internal pink blush that has become one of my favorite tomatoes. It's utterly delicious when harvested at the proper time. It's easy to pick it too early because it turns orange and looks ripe but it doesn't sweeten up until it develops that pink blush.

Black Krim, sort of new, I haven't grown it in years and not in this garden. It has a reputation for doing well in cool climates so I want to try it again.

Eggplant:

Bonica, year two for this variety, it's large classic big purple globe eggplant with few seeds, great texture and flavor. It was incredibly productive last year.

Salangana, year three for this one, it's an elongated purple eggplant. This one also has few seeds and tastes great and is possibly even more productive than Bonica.

Sicilian, year two for this one, a white with lavender blush globe type eggplant. Even more finely textured than Bonica, absolutely beautiful and delicious but more moderately productive.

Peppers and Chiles:

Not so crazy this year, but still a lot...

Lady Bell is back for the third year. This sweet red bell pepper is the best one that I've found that does well in the cool summer weather that is the norm here.

Giallo di Cuneo is new this year. This pepper is from alpine Northern Italy so I hope that it will do well in my cool climate garden and I hope that it's tasty. I've yet to find a yellow bell pepper that does well here and that I like so I hope this will be the one.

Odessa Market is also back for the third year. This pointy pepper is thick fleshed and sweet when red but it is also very good green (unlike bell peppers) and it's a pretty lime green. It's also well adapted to cool climates.

Shephard's Ramshorn has become one of my favorite peppers. It's a pointed pepper like Odessa Market, but larger and more productive. It's fabulous roasted and is also good either green or ripe.

Stocky Red Roaster is new in the lineup. Another pointed sweet red pepper that's more tapered than the other two pointed peppers in the lineup. It's supposed to be very productive and good for Northern climates so it should do well in my climate.

Piment doux long des Landes is one of my favorite frying peppers. It's thin fleshed and thin skinned, delicious green or red, raw or cooked, and also dries well. My original seed stock is getting old so I want to grow this out to save seeds this year.

Sonora is a mild Anaheim type chile pepper. I've lost my appetite for spicy peppers so this chile fits the bill for me. It produces fleshy flavorful green peppers that are perfect for roasting. The first peppers on the plants tend to be quite large but succeeding fruits are smaller. It's also very productive.

Tarahumara Chile Colorado was one of my favorite Southwestern chile peppers from the many that I trialed last year. It's mild and tasty either green or red. It has thick enough flesh to be roasted when green and makes an excellent dried pepper for grinding into a mild chile powder. I also found that I could soak the dried chiles and scrape the flesh from the skin and use the resulting pulp to flavor sauces and such. It's a nice multi-purpose chile.

Topepo Rosso. I'm trying it again this year. It's a thick fleshed sweet pimento type pepper. I didn't make good use of my crop last year and I want to give it another try since I liked what I did manage to use last year.

Padron. The pepper line up would not be complete without Padrons. I was disappointed with my crops last year. I used a different seed source and the plants were not as productive and the peppers didn't seem as tasty. This year I've gone back to my old seed source and I'm hoping for a better year.

Christmas Bell. This is a slightly spicy baccatum type pepper. I've grown it a number of times over the past few years and am missing it. It has a unique fruity flavor and is good for many uses. I like to harvest the ripe peppers and use them fresh, they can be sliced and used in salads, or chopped and used in salsas. They are also good pickled whole and they dry well. They produce earlier than most baccatums and they are fairly cold hardy so they can overwinter in my garden with some protection if we have a mild winter.

Aji Angelo. This is my favorite baccatum pepper. I love baccatum peppers but they tend to not do well in my cool climate. This one is an outstanding exception. It is highly productive and very cold hardy. I've got one potted plant that has made it through 2 (or maybe it's 3) winters with no protection other than being near the house. But it's not just the productivity and hardiness that makes it a favorite, I wouldn't bother with it if it wasn't tasty. This is the pepper that I turn to these days when I make salsa (I think jalapeños and serranos are highly overrated) and it's one my favorite peppers to dry for making chile flakes.

Beans:

It's too early to direct seed beans but I'm pretty sure they will do ok if I start them in paper pots. I've pretty much given up on direct seeding beans anyway. I couldn't wait for space to open up in the garden to plant pole snap beans so I dug into my stash of seeds and found Slenderette and Royal Burgundy bush beans. I generally grow my snap beans as climbers because the harvest is longer, but I can't wait.

Black Coco, a versatile bean that is supposed to be good as a green bean, a shell bean, or best as a dried bean that's good refried or in soup. I'll be letting these go to the dry stage.

Rosso di Lucca. A dry bean that's rosy red with dark stripes and speckles. It is supposed to be productive and early, rich flavored and good with strong flavors such as garlic, sage and olive oil - right up my alley.

Zucchini:

Romanesco. This huge and hugely productive variety returns for a second year. It's incredibly resistant to powdery mildew as well, a big plus in my garden where PM tends to run rampant.

San Pasquale. I know, one huge productive zucchini plant should be enough, but Romanesco doesn't produce any male flowers after the first couple of weeks so I'm trying San Pasquale which is supposed to produce a lot of male blossoms and but not too many zucchini. Plus, the female flowers hold well enough to pick small zucchini with the flowers attached. We'll see!

Brassicas:

Amazing Taste cauliflower. This is my first attempt at cauliflower in many years. It's supposed to be extra early and mild with a nutty-sweet flavor.

I'm also experimenting with some new Asian greens including Green Lance gai lan and Tokyo Bekana baby chinese cabbage. And I've also direct seeded more of the Purple pac choi and Purple mizuna that have done so well for me the last month or so and are now about finished. In addition, I direct sowed a cut-and-come-again Mustard mix that I plan to harvest as baby leaves to add to my salads. Oh, I forgot that I sowed more Green Fortune pac choi. I waited too long to harvest my winter sown plants and they weren't fit to eat so I'm trying again.

That's it so far, but there will be more to sow in the coming weeks. I need to clear out some space to sow carrots and I'm trying to be better this year about succession sowing for salad veggies. The butter head lettuces are all ready to harvest now so I need to start more of those. The romaine lettuce will be coming in hard on the heels of the butterhead so more of those will need to be sown soon as well. Then I'll get a bit of a breather until the favas and alliums are finished in late spring and early summer at which time I'll have to transition those spaces to pole beans, cucumbers, corn, and brassicas for fall harvests. Ah, but I'll worry about that then.

If you want to know where I got the seeds for most of the veggies mentioned above I've got them listed on my 2014 Planned Veggies page where you can find links to the sources.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Harvest Monday - April 7, 2014

The garden is in full spring mode right now. I've continued to thin out the fennel patch. Most of the fronds from this harvest went into salads and the baby bulbs were braised with a couple of local grown artichokes.


More color for my green salads.


The rest of the Early Rapini had to be harvested before it got to be too big.




Another big basketful of spinach.


I cut the pea shoot vines down to a few inches tall.


These are the tender tops, the rest of the vines went into the compost. These were sauteed with some mixed mushrooms and a dash of fish sauce, simple and delicious.


Another head of butterhead lettuce.


Yet more color for the salad bowl.


The chard was elbowing out the neighboring vegetables so I harvested the largest leaves. I used leaves from the Flamingo chard to enclose a filling of spinach, ricotta, parmigiano, and sage leaves fried in butter, then I baked the rolls in the browned butter with some more parmigiano scattered on top. My husband declared it a successful culinary experiment.


The fava harvest continues.


This is yet one more head of butterhead lettuce. We've been eating a lot of salad lately.


A basketful of baby Tuscan arugula.


Here's the harvests for the past week:

Tuscan arugula - 7.5 oz.
Capers - 3 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans - 2 lb., 8.7 oz.
Flamingo chard - 1 lb., 3.1 oz.
Golden chard - 1 b., 11.8 oz.
Romanesco fennel - 7.8 oz.
Kagraner Sommer butterhead lettuce - 1 lb., 15.7 oz.
Purple mizuna - 8.3 oz.
Spring onions - 1.9 oz.
Purple pac choi - 3.8 oz.
Pea shoots - 8.1 oz.
Early rapini - 2 lb., 12 oz.
Monstreux d'Viroflay spinach - 2 lb., 9.2 oz.

The harvests for the past week were - 15 lb., 4.9 oz.
And the total harvests for 2014 are now - 57 lb., 3.7 oz.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Garden in Late March 2014

It's amazing how much the veggies in my garden grew in the space of little more than a month. For instance, look how the butter head lettuce grew between February 22 and March 28.

Kagraner and Rhapsody butterhead lettuce

The spinach was equally ambitious.

Monstreux d'Viroflay, Verdil, and Summer Perfection spinach

The view down the tunnel on February 22 shows lots of seedlings getting a start.


The foreground of the photo above should have been the start of a patch of Golden Corn Salad, but I covered the seed with too thick of a layer of compost so most of the seeds didn't germinate. Now the space is sporting a few Claytonia and cilantro volunteers with a corn salad seedling here and there. The lovely patch of green on the right is a second sowing of "Tuscan" arugula that I seeded just before I left.


The next patch of seedlings is "Speedy" arugula, speedy indeed. It's trying to burst out of the tunnel and is about to burst into full bloom. I tasted it before I left and loved it. It's not a hybrid so I need to uncover it to let pollinators can get to it so that I can save some seed (the seed is rather expensive).

"Speedy" arugula

There's some purple mizuna and purple pac choi wedged in between the arugula and the next patch of greens. I'm growing these to add some punch, both color and flavor to my green salads.

Purple Mizuna and Purple Pac Choi

The neighboring "Early" rapini was also trying to burst out of the tunnel. It has since been cut down. I harvest rapini by cutting it down to a couple of leaves at the base of the plants and often times it will produce some new shoots which extends the harvest a bit.

"Early" rapini

The pac choi is ready to harvest. I need to get to it before it decides to bolt.

"Green Fortune" pac choi

The spinach patch is next to the pac choi.


Four varieties of chard (Flamingo, Peppermint Stick, Golden, and Italian Silver Rib) are on the other side of the spinach. This photo was taken before I pulled out the volunteer poppies and other weeds.


And "Romanesco" fennel fills the space at the end of the tunnel. I usually sow fennel in paper pots and then set them out but this time I direct sowed them. The unusually warm weather we had back in January and February prompted me to try more direct sowing than I would usually attempt in winter and it paid off. The fennel germinated well and was ready for thinning  when I got home. I also direct sowed the mizuna and purple pac choi. Most of the rest of the greens I sowed in 4-inch pots and then separated out the seedlings and set them out in their final spacing. The spinach was one exception, it was sown in paper pots.


Perhaps you noticed the strawberry plants growing along the edge of the bed. These are "Seascape", a variety well suited to the local climate. These are very good if picked when perfectly ripe, so so if picked underripe. I spied the first red one the other day!




The lettuce is growing in the tunnel on the other side of the bed. It was started in 4-inch pots, the seedlings separated, and then set out. You can see  how I set the baby butterhead plants in the first photo in this post. Romaine lettuce is shown below. The photo on top is the recently set out seedlings on February 22 and the one below is plants on March 28.

"Sweetie Baby" romaine
The rest of the tunnel is home to beets, yu choi, and pea plants grown for the shoots. You can see the yu choi blooming like crazy and and trying to burst out of the tunnel. Since I took this photo it's been pulled out and put into the compost. The pea plants also grew like crazy but I was able to trim them down and get a nice harvest of tender tops this week (coming to the Harvest Monday post next week).


Here's a look at the entire bed. The snow peas that had been growing under the covered trellis at the far end of the bed were dead when I got home. I had cut the plants down and harvested all the peas I could find and also the tender tops. I was hoping that they would regrow from the base, but no, they just died. I can't complain, the plants were set out late last autumn (November?), survived freezing weather, and then came on in January and February to produce some lovely peas. The patch of green wedged between the old snow pea trellis and the tunnel are the "Spanish Black" carrots that are now blooming like crazy. And in the foreground under the netting is the patch of "Red Fife wheat.


On the other side of the path is what is primarily the allium bed. Onions on the left and garlic on the right. I laid newspaper down between the rows to suppress the volunteer chamomile plants that were popping up throughout the bed. It seems to have worked!


The view from the other end of the bed shows the other patch of wheat that I'm experimenting with, this one is "Sonora. One side of the patch is a bit yellow and short, the other side is more lush. I think that may be a water issue, some of the drip lines are starting to clog up, but I'm not sure.


This bed is going to be the solanum bed this year. In mid February I sowed it with a cover crop blend and then covered the entire bed with lightweight remay. When I got home I found this. The plants had grown enough to push the cover off. Fortunately the hungry birds were not able to do much damage.


This past weekend I cut the greens down and chopped them up.


Here's what it looks like now after I dug it all in. I'm aiming to plant my solanums out by mid to late May so there should be plenty of time for the greens to rot.


This bed is home to the fava beans and was also home to the overwintered veggies, including carrots, celeriac, celery (seen on the left), broccoli, and Romanesco.


Here you can see what the ants did to the carrot patch. They "farm" aphids which you can see on the leaf stems if you look closely and they protect the aphids by piling soil particles on top of them. The aphids only feed on the stems so the roots aren't damaged, but the dying carrot tops can't feed the roots so they don't grow. I would normally leave the carrots in the ground as long as possible and harvest them as I need them, but the infestation was so extensive that I just gave up and pulled them all.


The only remaining planting left in the bed is the Di Ciccio broccoli which has a lot of bolting cilantro growing with it. The new shoots that have managed to grow in my absence are so full of aphids that I'm not going to bother to harvest them. This patch is on the short list for the compost bin.


That's the garden in late March, now I must get started with sowing more spring and summer veggies. But first, ugh, I have to finish the taxes.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Harvest Monday - March 31, 2014

I had a unique experience this month, I quite literally went through all four seasons in the space of 3 1/2 weeks, although not in proper sequence. It went like this - Winter from March 1 to 2, Summer from March 3 to 20, Autumn from March 21 to 24, and Spring from March 25 to now. Not only that, but some of those summer days were more wintry than what typically passes for winter here. Needless to say I was traveling and my garden was getting by on its own.

Other than my kitties and my own bed what I missed most sorely was fresh vegetables. Fresh veggies are always hard to come by when eating on the trail or in restaurants, but it seems that good fresh veggies are in general a rare commodity where I was visiting for most of the trip. I made a lot of mental tours through my garden imagining, hoping, craving what it might provide when I got home. The garden did not disappoint, all my hard work to get as much started as possible before I left home paid off.

The garden was starting to produce even before I left. I cleaned out the snow pea plants and saved the tender tops and every pea I could find. 


Then I harvested all of one patch of arugula days before I left and left it for my friend who was staying for the duration of the trip. I immediately sowed another round of arugula in that spot in hopes of having more ready when I got home (nearly ready!).

Tuscan Arugula

The spinach was starting to produce just before we left so I made one pass through the patch. We managed to eat that but I don't remember how I prepared it.

Summer Perfection

Verdil

Monstreux d'Viroflay
One other harvest before we left was a head or two of celery. It was just starting to show the first signs of bolting but it was still delicious. I trimmed the tops down and quartered it lengthwise, then braised it in Turkey broth with a bit of bacon and then gratineed it. My husband loved it cooked that way and kept asking me during the trip if we could have that again when we got home. Sorry honey, but the celery has well and truly bolted now.

Dorato d'Asti celery

Fast forward 3 1/2 weeks and let's see what the garden offered up in late March. Here's what I could salvage from the bolting celery. These are the shoots that developed inside the joints next to the individual stalks of the celery head. The stalks were getting hollow and cottony but the young almost flowering shoots were still crisp and tasty. I trimmed the leafy tops off of the shoots and then braised and gratineed them in a similar preparation as the previous heart of celery - it was better than I expected.


The fennel patch needed to be thinned out so here's half of the baby fennel from the patch. These were trimmed and then quickly grilled on my stove top ridged griddle.


One accidental harvest of Golden Chard which did not make it into the tally.


The extra onion starts that I planted for spring onions are sizing up beautifully. These were grilled along with the baby fennel.


Ah ha! I couldn't believe it, the first fava beans were ready to harvest. This may be the first time I've harvested favas in March, they usually aren't this mature until mid-April. These were added to the grill with the onions and fennel. I made a quick Romesco type sauce to accompany the grilled veggies with some preserved peppers from my stash in the refrigerator.

Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans

The Early Rapini seedlings that I had set out not long before I departed for vacation grew like crazy and were/are trying to burst out of the protective micromesh tunnel. These were blanched first and then I used some in a simple sautee, some went into a frittata, and more went into a breakfast scramble. And this is only half of what was ready to harvest last week.

Early Rapini

Shortly before I left for vacation I had cut the spinach down to just a few baby leaves per plant and when I got home I found a spinach jungle. This is the harvest from one of the three rows in the garden. This basket looks deceptive, it weighed in at 2.8 pounds after I went through and trimmed off a pound of stems. One night I wilted about half of it with garlic and butter. Another night I simmered the rest in a tomato broth to be served with pan roasted halibut. And there was enough of the garlicky preparation left over to add to vegetable soup another night.

Verdil Spinach
I harvested quite a few of the spring onions last week.


The ants got into the carrot patch and were farming aphids on the stems. They had really made a mess of things and the carrot tops were dying so I pulled all of them out. There were also a few parsnips (don't remember the variety) that managed to germinate and grow in the carrot patch so they came out also.

Sugarsnax and Circus Circus mixed carrots. 

The last two overwintered celeriac were just starting to bolt so I pulled those out as well. They were still quite good and one of them went into a soup along with some carrots, Purgatory beans, onions, and Italian sausage, and the rest of that garlicky spinach. Mmmm, that was good Saturday night when it got cool and rainy.

Monarch celeriac

And finally, yesterday I harvested the first beautiful head of Kagraner Sommer butterhead lettuce. I was quite proud to present that as a gift to some friends who had us over for brunch yesterday. I also added the first harvest of Purple Mizuna (just starting to bolt), some baby fennel and a couple of spring onions to the goodie basket.

Kagraner Sommer butterhead lettuce

Whew, I've been doing a lot of catching up in the last week and there's still a lot left to do. Here's the harvests from the last week of February and this past week.

Tuscan Arugula - 1 lb., 2.4 oz.
Circus Circus carrots - 1 lb., 12.7 oz.
Sugarsnax carrots - 1 lb., 6.2 oz.
Dorato d'Asti celery - 3 lb., 10.6 oz.
Monarch celeriac (celery root) - 2 lb., 5.5 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans (broad beans) - 15.9 oz.
Kagraner Sommer butterhead lettuce - 1 lb., 1.6 oz.
Romanesco fennel - 15.6 oz.
Purple Mizuna - 3.3 oz.
Mixed spring onions - 1 lb., 9.1 oz.
Parsnips - 4.2 oz.
Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas- 10.7 oz.
Snow Pea Shoots - 3.4 oz.
Early Rapini (trimmed) - 2 lb., 8.7 oz.
Monstreux d'Viroflay spinach (trimmed) - 7.8 oz.
Summer Perfection spinach (trimmed) - 11.5 oz.
Verdil spinach (trimmed) - 3 lb., 8.9 oz.

The total harvests for the two weeks came to - 23 lb., 10.1 oz. (10.72 kg.)
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to - 44 lb., 15.5 oz. (20.4 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Stay tuned for the next garden tour post if you want to see how the garden fared in my absence.

Here's a hint if you're curious about where I was off to for much of March.

Summer in John Gardner Pass