Monday, May 13, 2013

Harvest Monday - May 13, 2013

There's a couple of new items in the harvest basket this week, only one of which I got around to photographing. The entire planting of Early Rapini was ready to harvest, seemingly overnight. It went from tiny little seedlings to harvest in less than a month.

Early Rapini
The seedlings were so small back on April 12 that I didn't even bother to take a full on photo of them, you can see the tiny things in the corner of my shot of the napa cabbages. I was not at all optimistic about getting a harvest from this planting, the little seedlings were rather slow growing and stunted in their starter pot but I planted them out anyway. It was such a surprise to get nearly 2 pounds of greens from those little things! I blanched the whole lot and then sauteed them with a chopped up whole head of newly harvested garlic and some bacon, then served it on top of a bowl of "Floriani" whole grain polenta - oh yum, was that good.

I also harvested some nice sized baby carrots that I didn't get around to photographing. Those were perfect for cooking whole, I just trimmed the tops off and lightly scrubbed them. Then I braised them in a mix of butter and home made chicken stock, simmered until the stock and butter mixture reduced to a glaze and the carrots were tender and finished it with a splash of vinegar.

Chioggia beets and Golden beets made it into the basket again this week. The Red Janice garlic was looking really bad, the tops were starting to brown and fall over and I thought that they were sick with something. I pulled a plant and found a nice head! Whoa, these babies were ready to harvest, I was so surprised, I don't usually harvest garlic until June. So I did a little research about this variety and found that it is indeed a very early maturing variety. I pulled the entire lot this weekend but you won't see them in the tally until they've cured.

Red Janice garlic, Chioggia and Golden beets
Also not photographed this week was another head of butterhead lettuce and another big basketful of spinach. I'm really happy with the "Summer Perfection" spinach, it's produced nearly 5 pounds of delicious leaves so far and there's more ready to harvest today. I think it may be showing the first signs of wanting to bolt though, but I'm not surprised, I really wasn't expecting it to hold out this long, especially with the unusually warm weather that we've been enjoying. The temperatures moderated for most of the past week but yesterday it hit 80ºF again.

What I didn't get around to harvesting was the rest of the favas. Both my husband and I were laid low by some nasty bug that left us achy and tired. Neither of us wanted to deal with a big basket of beans so that task has been put off until today.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Chioggia beets - 4.2 oz.
Golden beets - 4.8 oz.
Circus Circus carrots - 2.4 oz.
Deep Purple carrots - 2.4 oz.
Lorz Italian green garlic - 1 oz.
Red Janice garlic - 1.2 oz.
Rhaposdy butterhead lettuce - 7.5 oz.
Early Rapini - 1 lb., 14.4 oz.
Summer Perfection spinach - 1 lb., 5.4 oz.

The total harvests for the past week came to - 4 lb., 11.2 oz.
Which brings all the harvests for the year up to - 89 lb., 1.8 oz.

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


  1. I need to put a post it note reminder on my pc "Do not read Michelle's blog posts unless you have already eaten something" Your description of your meals and recipes using your produce always make me hungry! LOL! You are getting a lot of production now out of the garden. Mine is limited right now to greens (lettuce and the last of the kales and soon napa cabbages and pac choi)and rhubarb. I got my spinach in late this spring, and I am going to be lucky to get a harvest or two in before they bolt on me.

  2. Beautiful harvests. I wish I loved beets. I love the color so much, but just can't stand the taste. Last year I grew them for my townhouse mates so I could harvest the pretty things.

  3. Rapini over polenta sounds divine! What kind are you growing?

    1. The name is actually Early Rapini, it's from Renee's Garden Seeds.

  4. LOL I'm with Daphne on beets. I feed the greens to my birds. They are sooo pretty!

  5. I tried to grow rapini couple times, but each time I got only leaves but no central flower stalk, wonder why.

    I have to try Summer Perfection, keep reading it on your blog, it might be just the spinach for my region.

  6. These cabbages look great! So green and vibrant!

  7. Looks really good! I just planted Chioggia beet seeds last week. I hope I wasn't too late. Yours look nice size and great color!I look forward to seeing your deep purple carrot harvest. I am growing Purple Sun but a lot of them did not germinate, so I think I need to plant some more!

  8. Nice looking beets. Not much from my garden yet, hopefully soon.

  9. It'a always nice to visit and see your harvests. The garden here is in slow motion and the weather is still pretty wild.

  10. Wow, what a big harvest! I don't know what Rapini is - it looks like a cross between a broccolini and...something leafy, a cabbage perhaps?

    1. Hi Missy Piiggy, Rapini is a bit like a very leafy sprouting broccoli, but the plants are much smaller, quicker to mature and the flavor is more bitter. Botanically it is in the same family as turnips and napa cabbage. I think it is an aquired taste for most people because of the bitterness, but some varieties are less bitter than others (this one is on the mild side) and blanching reduces the bitterness a lot.


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