Monday, January 19, 2015

Harvest Monday - January 19, 2015

I was playing hooky last Monday trying to hone my bread baking skills at a 2 day workshop so I skipped last week's harvest post so this post shows off two weeks worth of harvests. There's a few new or returning items in the harvest basket, most notably a head of Romanesco that suddenly demanded to be harvested. I used 1 1/2 pounds of florets to make a gratin with a cheese sauce and buttery bread crumbs (from one of the loaves from the bread workshop). That leaves another 3 1/2 pounds to enjoy in a couple more dishes.

Romanesco broccoli
The latest sowing of Speedy arugula has taken a cue from the dry and relatively warm weather to try to bloom so I harvested a good sized bunch of it. It's not too spicy or bitter in spite of starting to bolt. That's what I like about Speedy, it stays mild when most arugula varieties turn strong tasting.

Speedy arugula
This harvest of chard is not from the latest sowing, I sowed the seeds for these plants over a year ago on January 10 of 2014. They produced incredibly well through most of the year and then were hit with a severe powdery mildew infection in the fall. I stripped the plants down to the nubs and then they just sat through the cold and wet weather of December. Now that it's dry and warm again they've started to regrow. They probably won't produce a lot, they should start to bolt fairly soon, but it's nice to get a little something different.

Peppermint Stick and Golden chard
Ruby Gem is the one lettuce that I'm harvesting leaf by leaf. I love the contrast of the dark red and bright green. These leaves are small enough that I can arrange them whole on a plate to show off the pretty texture and colors. We've enjoyed a number of salads with this lettuce paired with winter fruits such as pomegranates or grapefruits and a simple vinaigrette.

Ruby Gem Romaine
More lacinato kale went into the harvest basket. Other than pecking birds, the kale has been mostly unmolested by pests this winter. They generally get a pretty good population of aphids round about now, but the aphid population in general seems to be lower this year.

Lacinato kale
I had to clear out the carrot patch to make way for shallot seedlings that were ready to plant out. Most of the carrots are on the small side except for the Muscades, not surprising considering it took me three attempts to get the carrot patch going last fall so they got a very late start. These are all waiting in the fridge for me to think of a way to use them. I also harvested a couple more big Spanish Black carrots that were volunteering in a different part of the garden, but those didn't get photographed.

Rotilde and Muscade carrots
Lunar White and Amarillo carrots
Deep Purple carrots

This is the first head of butterhead lettuce from the fall sowing.

Rhapsody butterhead lettuce
I was pleased and a bit surprised to see that some bulbs had formed in the fennel patch. They are growing from the stumps of the plants that I direct sowed into the garden nearly a year ago on January 20. I left the plants to bloom to feed beneficial insects and to provide a harvest of green seeds that I dried. Then I cut them down to the ground in December and they have struggled to grow back faster than the birds can peck away at the foliage. I hadn't paid them much attention lately other than to think that I need to get around to pulling them out. That may not be a perfect pale specimen, but it turn out to be delicious thinly sliced. It went into a salad with blood oranges, celery, hearts of palm and that head of Rhapsody butterhead lettuce.

Romanesco fennel
The celery continues to produce firm, crisp, sweet stalks that I'm harvesting stalk by stalk.

Dorato D'Asti celery
The only other things harvested in the past two weeks were the Mikado baby turnips that I wrote about in my post about Braised Baby Turnips and Carrots and some radishes. I cleaned out most of the radish patch except for the China Rose radishes. I did pull some of the China Rose that looked like they were on the verge of bolting, they had small roots and huge greens. This variety is described as a dual purpose radish, both the roots and greens are supposed to be good. So I tried braising the greens and indeed, they are delicious and surprisingly mild. I had expected them to have some "bite" like rapini but they turned out to be totally sweet. I'll be sure to photograph the next harvest to show how big the greens are.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past two weeks:

Speedy arugula - 11.4 oz.
Romanesco broccoli - 5 lb., .4 oz.
Amarillo Yellow carrots - 1 lb., 1.8 oz.
Deep Purple carrots - 11.1 oz.
Lunar White carrots - 6.4 oz.
Muscade carrots - 2 lb., .3 oz.
Rotilde carrots - 11.5 oz.
Spanish Black carrots - 11.7 oz.
Dorato D'Asti celery - 14.5 oz.
Golden chard - 3.9 oz.
Peppermint Stick chard - 4.9 oz.
Romanesco fennel - 6.8 oz.
Lacinato kale - 13.4 oz.
Rhapsody butterhead lettuce - 9.1 oz.
Ruby Gem romaine lettuce - 5.3 oz.
China Rose radishes - 1 lb., .4 oz. (including the greens)
Pink Beauty radishes - 4.2 oz.
Pink Punch radishes - .6 oz.
Selzer Purple radishes - 3.1 oz.
Mikado turnips - 27.4 oz.

The total harvests for the past two weeks were - 18 lb., 4.2 oz.
Which brings the harvests for 2015 to - 19 lb., 15 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.


  1. Hi, Michelle,

    I'd like to read more about your bread workshop if possible.

    About the fennel. I have two kinds ... well, three really when the bronze decides to show itself ... the wild kind, no bulbs, but for butterfly larva food and because I like it, and I keep trying the supposedly bulbing kind, but it never forms bulbs. Are you saying that it took a year to produce them or that they produced earlier and are now making more bulbs from the roots left in the ground after you harvested the bulb. The latter, I think? My rapini went right straight to seed like yours and I did pull it out, all stringy stems. Your celery looks good.

  2. The fennel produced some bulbs last spring, although they likely would have done better if I had sown the seeds in the fall, so this harvest is the second round. I'm still working on getting my timing right for bulbing fennel. I was just reading that fall is the optimum time to sow the seeds but that some varieties will make bulbs from a very early spring sowing. So you might try some different varieties to see which ones will do best in your climate.

    I'm not sure when or if I can get around to a post about the bread workshop, I'm still trying to finish my 2014 retrospectives and plans for 2015. The workshop was with a small professional baker and it was in return for a Kick Starter pledge. But a post about it might be a good way to consolidate my notes so I don't forget too much!

  3. Beautiful harvests! Quite envious that you have been able to take a bread baking workshop. When it comes to baking, bread is by far my favourite thing to make (and eat!). I adore Peter Reinhart & all his books. He had a bakery in California - Brother Juniper. Not sure if it is still around but would have loved to go there.

    And if I still don't have good luck with radishes this year, I may just try that dual purpose least I would be able to harvest some greens for my efforts.

  4. That's a great selection of veggies for a January harvest! I thought maybe there might be a loaf of bread snuck in there somewhere though. ;-)

  5. Wow, 18 lbs of veggies in two weeks in January is terrific!

  6. That ruby gem lettuce looks so pretty. Romaine has always been one of my favorite lettuces.

  7. You are still getting a bigger harvest in Winter than most people get in Summer! How nice that the Fennel re-sprouted. I didn't know that could happen.

  8. Wonderful harvest this time of year! Your Romanesco Broccoli is exactly what I grew (OK, tried to grow) as Romanesco Cauliflower two years ago - seems they are the same thing from pics? But you were successful and mine were not. :)

  9. Nice harvest - a job well done! You are making me miss our sunny warm weather :(

  10. Very nice harvest. The Ruby Gem lettuce is very attractive. That's what struck me about Marshall Romaine, its shading from deep red to pink to lime green veins. That's a color combination that I find appealing.

  11. Beautiful harvest, Michelle! I wish our Januaries are as bountiful!


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