Monday, May 26, 2014

Harvest Monday - May 26, 2014

Fewer onions were harvested this week! There's only a few Superstar and Candy onions left in the garden and they are resisting bolting better than their former bedmates. I don't know if the onions bolted because of our weird winter heat waves or what, but they are day-neutral varieties that should have done well. The third variety of onion has done beautifully, the Red Candy Apple onions are bulbing up and the necks on a few of them are just starting to flop over. I harvested a couple of those this weekend, cut off the necks and roots and dirty outer skins, then quartered them but left them attached at the root end. Those were then enclosed in heavy duty aluminum foil with a few sprigs of thyme, a glug of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and placed on the BBQ to roast until sweet and tender. Delicious! I'll be growing those beauties again.

Red Candy Apple sweet onions

We had grilled butterflied leg of lamb to accompany the onions (or should that be the other way around?). I encrusted the lamb with a mixture of chopped fresh green garlic and fresh rosemary and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before grilling it. The garlic and rosemary produced a rather heady aroma and was delicious on the lamb. This was not just any old lamb either, it is locally raised with TLC by small sheep milk cheese producer - Garden Variety Cheese - whose cheese is superb also. (And their whey fed pork is incredible too.)

Spanish Roja green garlic

The pea shoots are producing well in spite of the recent heat spikes. I used a few thicknesses of row cover fabric to give them some light shade through the worst of the heat and they responded with lots of beautiful shoots.

The rodent that attacked by beets found the juicy root of my Golden Chard plant and gnawed through one side. I figured that out when I noticed two big wilting leaves, but fortunately I was able to harvest them before they were too far gone. (There's a few rat traps guarding the plant now, I hope they work.)

The chard that grows in my garden always seems to produce huge leaves with big succulent stems and the new Peppermint Stick chard is no exception.

It's difficult to get a perspective on the size of the stems in these photos, those stems are at least a foot  long and 1 to 2 inches wide at the base. The inside of the stems in nearly all white and the outside has brilliant magenta stripes.

I think they are beautiful. And the chard is tender and delicious. I have continued to experiment with grilled chard. This time I blanched the stems for about a minute in boiling salted water and then cooled them in ice water and then laid them on towels to dry. I tossed them with a bit of olive oil and then grilled them on the BBQ. This has been my favorite way to grill them so far, they get a bit blistered and browned on the surface and have a nice tender and juicy texture. The stems stayed a bit too crunchy when I didn't blanch them first or they had to be grilled a long time over low heat to become tender.

Other harvests not photographed last week were capers, chamomile, garlic, onions, and the final harvest of fava beans.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Capers - 6.7 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans - 1 lb., 5 oz.
Flamingo chard - 2.6 oz.
Golden chard - 12.1 oz.
Peppermint Stick chard - 2 lb., 8.3 oz.
Inchelium Red green garlic - 3.8 oz.
Spanish Roja green garlic - 3.3 oz.
Red Candy Apple onions - 30.8 oz.
Superstar onions - 24.6 oz.
Pea shoots - 9.1 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 9 lb., 14.3 oz. (4.5 kg.)
Which brings the harvests for 2014 up to - 234 lb., 14.9 oz. (106.6 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.


  1. Both the Peppermint and the Golden Chard are simply gorgeous! I really need to expand my varieties! Congrats on some awesome harvests :-)

  2. Those chard stems are gorgeous. I keep thinking I need to try some new chard varieties out that have a nice color. I won't eat the stems (as I hate beets and they have too much of the flavor in them that I dislike), but I still admire them.

  3. Your onions have such a delicious deep pink colour :)

  4. The peppermint chards are so beautiful, hope mine grow as well as yours.

  5. I've never harvested pea shoots. Do you use them as salad greens? I love the color of your chard and onions!

    1. They can be used as salad greens but I prefer to cook them. Last night I used them in a quick stir fry with some of the sliced onion necks, enoki mushrooms, and fish sauce. They were fabulous!

  6. The chard looks beautiful. I'm especially gaga over the onions - the way you cooked them ...yum!

  7. Those darn rats. They sound like such a menace. Chard has to be one of the most beautiful leafy greens you can grow in a garden. Hopefully, I will be able to develop a taste for it one of these days. To me, they have all of the earthiness of a beet, but unfortunately none of the sweetness.

  8. What a gorgeous harvest of chard and those young onions look so yummy!

  9. The Peppermint chard is really attractive. I'm trying Magenta Sunset this year, but it is still sitting inside because of our cold, rainy Spring, just like last year. My garlic is loving the weather and you have inspired me to sacrifice some plants to try using green garlic. Butterflied leg of lamb is one of our favorites after trying a Julia Child recipe years ago.


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