Monday, July 22, 2013

Harvest Monday - July 22, 2013

I'm really happy that I started the Lacinato kale a little early this year, it has been producing some beautiful leaves in spite of the interest of the aphids. Well, the aphids have been quite attracted to just one of the three plants but I think I got that infestation under control so the harvests should increase soon, unless the birds become more interested... 

Here's the latest picking of kale which I first steamed in my pressure cooker for 3 minutes and then sauteed in olive oil with a generous amount of fresh garlic. It was combined with some Black Valentine beans from Rancho Gordo and served with the juices from a slow roasted (7 hours at 225ºF) pork shoulder that had been seasoned with a Korean 5-Spice rub. Yum, that was good!

I'm still harvesting the Sugarsnax carrots a few at a time, they are keeping quite well in the garden for now. The beets needed to be thinned. I used the Golden and Chioggia beets raw, very thinly sliced on a mandolin, in a salad with shredded napa cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and peanuts with an asian style dressing. It was quite good, the baby beets were not too strongly flavored. The greens were beautiful so I'm planning to use those in some No-Crust Quiches.

I love how even the stems on the Chioggia beets are striped. It's too bad that the Chioggia beets loose their stripes when they are cooked, the colors all run together to turn the roots pink, but raw sliced beets retain their stripes and are quite pretty in a salad.

I'm harvesting the first dried pods of the Greek Gigante beans. These aren't included in the tally yet, that will wait until all the beans have been harvested and shelled.

The Tortarello Abruzzese cucumbers keep coming on, that one plant that was produced from a packet of 10 year old seeds has been the surprise of the cucumber patch. The other three varieties have been struggling along but that one little runt took off and is growing like crazy and putting out cucumbers on a regular basis. The Tortarellos are at the top, then there's one Tasty Green Japanese cucumber, and one Garden Oasis cucumber. And another handful of runner beans. The production of runner beans was slowed quite a bit by the heat we had in June, but now that the weather has moderated the plants are happier and have been setting more beans. I didn't photograph the half pound of beans that I harvested yesterday and there's more beans on the way.

There's a few more veggies that I didn't photograph last week, such as the continuing avalanche of zucchini, a few French Gold filet beans, and more broccoli sprouts.

You can see from the graph below that the weather has moderated quite a bit lately and we are still getting some nighttime temperatures below 50ºF. It slowed the zucchinis down a bit (thank goodness) but the rest of the garden seems to appreciate the more mild weather.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

French Gold filet beans - 1.3 oz.
Runner beans (St. George and Moonlight) - 1 lb., 2.1 oz.
Baby Ball beets - 1oz.
Chioggia beets - 4.8 oz.
Red Baron beets - 8.2 oz.
Renee's Golden beets - 4.8 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 1 lb., 1.1 oz.
Purple Peacock broccoli - 12.6 oz.
Sugarsnax carrots - 9.1 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 5.2 oz.
Tortarello Abruzzese cucumbers - 1 lb., 4.9 oz.
Red Janice garlic - 1.8 oz.
Lacinato kale - 1 lb., .9 oz.
Ortolano di Faenza zucchini - 1 lb., 9.4 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 4 lb., 9.3 oz.

The total harversts for the past week came to - 14 lb., 1.9 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for the year up to - 240 lb., 2.2 oz.

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. Looks like you are still getting some decent sized carrots. And the beet greens do look great.

  2. Great looking harvest! We love the Laciano Kale as well!! Wow you sure have beautiful weather for this time of year. We have been well over 100 for several days now, so we are just cooking!!

  3. You have some very interesting vegetables there! The cucumbers and beans are different from varieties I've seen. Everything looks great!

  4. No kale growing in our garden at the moment, but I do have the fall starts going and there are kale seedlings in there, so soon we will have kale on the menu again. In the meantime we are enjoying the summer time crops instead. It sounds like your garden is really producing well for you right now.

  5. Great harvest! I never have luck with kale, the aphids get to it before I do!

  6. Beautiful harvests. And you remind me that I have to get out and pick my pea seeds. I'm sure there are a lot of them that have dried already.

  7. I too am disappointed that the Chioggia beets lose there stripes after cooking. I seem to recall reading somewhere to rub them with vinegar before cooking, planning to try that when mine are ready.

  8. The Asian salad sounds really tasty. Too bad I didn't plant any beets this year. I'm the only one who likes them at home, that's why. Maybe I can still plant them in the Fall?

  9. The Lacinato kale is really attractive, but why do you pressure cook it first? Is it that tough? Everything looks great, particularly the beets. I had Chioggia and Golden beets served me this summer at Baker Creek Seeds and you are right, The Chiohhia bleeds enough to turn it pink, but you could still see the rings.

    1. The Lacinato kale isn't really tough, I just like my kale well cooked and soft for some preparations. The younger leaves make a great kale Caesar salad when used raw.

  10. So impressive! Next year I am definitely growing the dino kale in addition to my curly kale. So pretty!


  11. Hello,

    As ever, very impressive. Would you have a minute for some questions?

    Do you use safer soap in you battle with the aphids? I used some safer soap on some sea lavender (Limonium perezii) plants. It was very effective, but I wonder if you think it is okay for food?

    Can you recommend a variety of beet to plant this summer for a fall harvest? Is there some variety that works well in this area?

    Have you seen an increasing problem with ground squirrels? This year, for the first time that I've noticed, they are using my ceanothus for a salad bar. I'm wondering if this is the year of the ground squirrel similar to the year of the rat that we experienced a few years ago.

    Thanks for the help

    Ed Morrow
    Carmel Valley

    1. Hi Ed, Happy to help. I used a combination of a pyrethrin based organic spray called Pyganic and a small amount of Safer soap to combat the aphids. Both are safe to use on vegetables. I've found that the safer soap alone isn't enough to control the aphids when they are attended by ants.

      So far as beets go, the four varieties that I'm growing right now have all been doing great in my garden. I've got the striped Chioggia, Golden, and red beets Red Baron and Baby Ball. Renee's Garden Seeds carries all of those and that's where I got all my seeds except for the Chioggia. They grow really quickly at this time of year so you may want to do succession sowing.

      Ground squirrels haven't been a problem here (and hopefully won't be!), but I have a friend who lives in Coralle de Tierra and she's got a lot of them this year. I saw a coyote on my hillside recently so perhaps it is helping to keep the squirrels away and I suspect that it may also be helping to keep the rat population in check, I've had very few problems with them this year.

      Hope your garden is doing well.

    2. Michelle,

      Thanks for the good advice. Nothing beats experience.

      As for the ground squirrels, could you ask your coyote if he or she makes house calls?

      Thanks again.

  12. I'd have never thought of no crust quiche so thanks for that

  13. Beautiful Tuscan kale, I'm going to try again this fall taking your advice to combat the nasty aphids, hope it works for me.
    The slow roasted pork sounds yummy, haven't done one of those in years.

  14. We can't grow lacinato kale until later or it becomes our defacto trap crop by attracting all of the cabbage moths in the area. Just tasted thinly sliced chioggia beets raw and they seemed incredibly tannic, should I have marinated them first?

    1. Oh, that's interesting, tannic beets. The beets that I used in my salad were babies, so perhaps they weren't as strong as more mature beets. Maybe it's the heat that you are suffering through that's turned the beets tannic. Don't know!


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