Monday, June 3, 2013

Harvest Monday - June 3, 2013

The garden produced a superabundance of vegetables this past week and the fridge is stuffed near to bursting. Here was part of the harvest on Saturday, a rather oversized battered starting to bolt napa cabbage, a surprisingly generous harvest of sugar snap peas from the few surviving plants, a handful of snow peas from the second planting that is just starting to produce, two new and robust Romanesco zucchini, and one petite Ortolano di Faenza zucchini.

I promptly used half of the head of cabbage for a lunch slaw and managed to squeeze the rest of the head in the fridge. The zucchini are stashed with previously harvested zucchinis and are destined to be prepared Agrodolce, one of my husband's favorite zucchini dishes. I have no idea how I'm going to prepare the snap and snow peas yet...

Here's a near to the final harvest of spinach, all the plants are bolting now.

I harvested the spinach shoots as well. I haven't cooked them up yet so I don't know if they are tasty, but they are attractive.

The Sweetie Baby romaine is starting to bolt already, so I harvested the first head. I used it in a salad last night with some hearts of butterhead lettuce, pear, almond, and goat cheese. It was still sweet. Also shown in another head of starting to bolt napa cabbage and a perfect head of iceberg lettuce that is destined to be used in Minced Chicken in Lettuce Cups.

This is another harvest of broccoli. Two different varieties, Purple Peacock on the left and Di Ciccio on the right.

This head of Purple Peacock isn't as purple as the first head that I harvested the week before last. The one I harvested previously had lovely purple stems, this one only had a bit of purple in the flower buds and a hint of purple in the leaves.

And the head of Di Ciccio is about as big a main head as this variety can produce. It's about 6 times as big as the first head that I harvested the previous week, 13 ounces versus 2 ounces, and is quite a bit bigger than the remaining 2 heads that are still sizing up in the garden.

Yesterday was the day to harvest the last 2 main heads of Purple Peacock broccoli - you can see how much variation there is in this variety, both of those heads of broccoli shown below are Purple Peacock. And that's another 3 Romanesco zucchini in the basket. The two varieties of zucchini that I'm growing this year could hardly be more different in their growth and production. The Romanesco is the Goliath of the zucchini world, my plant is sending out multiple branches and produces huge zucchinis with huge blossoms. The Ortolano di Faenze zucchini is a modest grower that doesn't appear to want to branch out and produces a modest number of petite little zucchinis.

Here's the newest item in the harvest basket, watercress. This is an experimental veggie in my garden and I've got a lot to learn about growing it. You can read a bit more about my learning experience with this variety on my previous post about watercress which I linked to Liz's Saturday Spotlight series.

There were a few other veggies that hit the harvest basket last week as well, most of which I've photographed in the prior weeks. I've had a very busy week in the garden filling the last new bed with soil and cleaning out half of a different bed and planting out 45 pepper plants in that space. Now that the new bed is almost up and ready to go it's time to plant the tomatoes which are near to busting out of their yogurt pots. Then it's on to cleaning out more bed space to plant out the rest of the peppers (another dozen or so plants) and the eggplant. Busy, busy, busy...

The weather did another one of its about-faces yesterday. From a high of 87ºF on Saturday to a high of 58ºF yesterday. From sunny and clear one day to classic central coast June Gloom the next, I think we had all of 3 hours of full sun yesterday.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Baby Ball beets - 6.1 oz. (none of the beet greens were kept or tallied)
Chioggia beets - 3.6 oz.
Golden beets - 6.7 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 13.3 oz.
Purple Peacock broccoli - 14 oz.
Little Jade napa cabbage (little no more) - 5 lb., 7.8 oz.
Circus Circus carrot mix - 7.5 oz.
Deep Purple carrots - 5.7 oz.
Lorz Italian garlic - 4.4 oz.
Iceberg Superior lettuce - 22.8 oz.
Rhapsody butterhead lettuce - 14.5 oz.
Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce - 6.4 oz.
Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas - 2.7 oz.
Super Sugar Snap peas - 1 lb., .8 oz.
Summer Perfection Spinach - 2 lb., 2.4 oz.
English watercress - 1.5 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 1 lb., 12.7 oz.
Ortolano di Faenza zucchini - 8 oz.

The harvest totals for the past week came to - 17 lb., 12.9 oz. (8 kilos)
Which brings all the harvests for the year up to - 124 lb., 4.5 oz. (56 kilos)

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


  1. Beautiful harvests. You hare harvesting your zucchini and I haven't even planted mine yet. I should soon though.

  2. Beautiful harvest. I have both Di Ciccio and Purple Peacock planted but a long way from harvest. Two of the Purple Peacock have purple stems but the other two are green.

  3. How do you like the taste of the Romanesco? I was thinking of growing that variety until I read somewhere that it tasted like dirt. Tell me that's just a joke. And your Agrodolce recipe is a must try.

    1. That sounds really strange! The Romanesco tastes fine to me, i've been using them in my usual zucchini dishes and haven't noticed any odd flavors, nor has my husband. They have a nice firm textue which I like. And the plant is incredibly prolific.

  4. Great harvest! We're missing the warm weather, so growth has slowed down!

  5. Wow what a great harvest. When did you start your purple peacock? I started mine in Jan or Feb. But I think I didn't plant it at the right time. I only have one left since the bunnies at the rest. But I was thinking of starting them all over again in hopes of a spring harvest next spring. Seems they take a long time, longer than I expected.

    1. I sowed my seeds on February 22, but I don't remember when I set them out in the garden, probably in April. It must be the difference in our climates, or perhaps yours were in a shadier spot than mine. Last year I sowed them for a fall/winter harvest, but the seedlings were shaded by larger plants and they never sized up. They are doing much better this year, but I made sure they got full sun.

  6. Love all the purple broccoli - actually I just love broccoli - any color. :D One of my favorite veggies. I did not plant near enough of it this year. I just hope the plants are super side shoot producers for me to make up for it.

    What a lovely mix of items you have this week. Getting zucchini, peas, lettuces, and napa cabbages at the same time is pretty impressive. Usually our zucchini starts up about the time our lettuces are all getting ragged and bitter.

    We seem to have escaped June gloom for the moment. Our weather forecast for the next several days is sunshine and warm (for us that is). Usually we start June off with the Pacific Coast June gloom that you are apparently getting.

  7. Looking great, I am enjoying that we have broccoli simultaneously. I am very jealous of your ability to grow iceberg lettuce. My kids love eating it but I can't grow it. it just never heads up well for me. I've tried both summer and winter varieties to no avail. How much space do you give each lettuce? I'm wondering if I'm trying to plant them too close.

    1. I think that I just got really lucky with my iceberg lettuce, from what I've read it's difficult to get them to head up properly. Anyway, I set the plants out about 9 or 10 inches apart, but I also filled in with extra plants that I harvested as baby loosehead lettuces. I made sure to harvest the babies before they crowded the "main" heads too much. Perhaps it helped that I gave the plants some light shade by erecting some lightweight rowcover over them.

  8. I'm wondering how the Purple Peacock stacks up to your other broccolis? It's supposed to be a broccoli/kale cross, and I wonder if it's an improvement on either of them.

    I'll bet the spinach shoots taste fine. I usually cook them up with the leaves, since I hate to waste any of the spinach!

    1. It's going to be interesting to see how the Purple Peacock compares to the Di Ciccio in terms of production. So far as flavor goes, I haven't tried them side by side yet. I already know that the Purple Peacock does better for me than Purple Sprouting, it isn't anywhere near as attractive to aphids, at least so far.

  9. Except for spinach, I am a long way from harvesting any of your featured items. Love the color of your purple broccoli.

  10. Incredibly delicious variety in your harvest, and still so early in the season! Here in Maine, we're just pleased to be getting mesclun... ;) Love that you're growing iceberg, a much-maligned lettuce ready for a come-back, and the petite romaine that's a single serving size!

  11. Wow, beautiful and varied harvest, harvesting zucchini already! I'll have to wait until July to start summer squash, another trip coming up.

  12. What else can I say other than this is an awesome harvest, especially since I'm still only picking radishes and herbs. We need some of your weather!


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