Monday, April 6, 2015

Harvest Monday - April 6, 2015

We're having a difficult time keeping up with what the garden is producing now. There's still the last of the celery and celeriac sitting in the fridge. I did make a celeriac puree the other night, but that still leaves two big roots hogging space on the shelf. The kale is finally gone and it was great while it lasted but it's nice to move on to other greens, like the first head of cabbage.

Pixie Cabbage
I suppose I could have harvested Pixie when it lived up to its name, but I waited until it seemed like it was on the verge of exploding so Pixie came in at over 4 pounds, it turned out to be a lovely firm sweet head of cabbage. I prepared half of it by cutting it into 1/2-inch strips which got wilted with a mixture of yellow and brown mustard seeds popped in butter with a couple of sliced spring onions and a handful of dried tart cherries. The other half is waiting in the fridge - it could be time to try okonomiyaki.

Peppermint Stick chard
The chard is growing like weeds and I just had to harvest some. That bunch above looks deceptively small but weighed in at over 4 pounds. Most of the weight was in the fat juicy stems, but the leaves were large enough to be stuffable, which I did with a mixture of ground pork, rice, diced onions, and diced stems. The rolls were baked with some manchego cheese in a simple tomato sauce. I'll be posting the recipe on my recipe blog soon. I'm experimenting with lacto fermenting some of the stems, but I'm not sure how well that's going.

Saisai Leaf Radish
I so much enjoyed the flavor of the leaves from the China Rose radishes that I grew last year that I decided to try a radish that is grown primarily for its tasty leaves. Saisai Leaf radishes are a daikon type and the root is edible but it's the leaves that you grow it for. I cut a big bunch of them last week. I used some of them to make a sort of pesto with the fresh leaves, some spring onions, meyer lemon peel and juice, and olive oil. That was a really tasty topping for pan roasted Halibut and the aforementioned celeriac puree. More of the leaves went into a stirfry with pork and tofu seasoned with oyster sauce which was a big yum. The leaves are delicious raw or cooked. They have just a mild bite of radish, much tastier than the spicy leaves of the typical salad radish. I'm wondering how many times I can harvest the leaves before the plants start to bolt.

Atlantis Brokali
I cut the main heads from the 3 brokali plants in the garden. Brokali is a cross between broccoli and gai lan. You may be more familiar with it as "broccolini" which is a trademarked name for a particular variety that is available only to commercial growers.

I've been harvesting lots of young onions that are the extras from my Dixondale purchase.

Pink Punch and Helios radishes
The first sowing of Pink Punch and Helios radishes are all gone now. The Selzer purple are about half gone. One of them came out white with a few purple stripes. Seed Savers Exchange offered these as a special just one time so I've sown some seeds in a spot where I can let the plants bloom. I'll get some more seeds and feed the good bugs too.

Selzer Purple radishes
 Most of the radishes are going into salads.

Selzer Purple, Helios, Pink Punch radishes
I had meant to harvest the Ruby Gem lettuces on a leaf by leaf or cut-and-come-again basis, but all of the lettuces are growing so fast that I need to use them before they get too big, so I'm cutting all the lettuces as heads.

Ruby Gem romaine lettuce
The first strawberries ripened! I got a couple of small harvests of delicious berries.

Albion and Seascape strawberries
And then something discovered the patch. I went out to the garden one morning and discovered this.

The flimsy tulle that covered the patch was no match for whatever it was that wanted my berries. The critter just munched right through the mesh. Fortunately the booger didn't damage the plants. I purchased some hardware cloth that I'm going to use to cage the berry patch. There's always some new challenge in the garden...

Here's the harvest weights for the past week:

Atlantis brokali - 2 lb., 9.6 oz.
Pixie cabbage - 4 lb., 6 oz.
Peppermint Stick chard - 4 lb., 6.8 oz.
Ruby Gem lettuce - 3.2 oz.
Mixed varieties spring onions - 1 lb., .4 oz.
Helios radishes (trimmed) - 6.4 oz.
Pink Punch radishes (trimmed) - 6.9 oz.
Selzer Purple radishes (trimmed) - 12.2 oz.
Saisai radish leaves - 2 lb., 12 oz.

Total for the week - 16 lb., 15.5 oz.
2015 year to date - 135 lb., 13.5 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. Such beautiful veg; that cabbage is impressive! Having a hard time keeping up with the harvests is an enviable problem to have - I think that it's at least a couple of months still until I'm even close to having that issue.

    So sad about the strawberries; good thing that the plants are ok and that you were at least able to enjoy that first harvest.

  2. The stuffed chard leaves sound delicious - I'll be checking your recipe site for the details.

  3. Pixie sounds like a good cabbage for baby or full sized heads. Interesting that you mentioned lacto-fermenting the chard. First thing I though of when I saw the cabbage was 'sauerkraut'! I like radishes and turnips done that way too, and a quick ferment adds a little tang to their crunch.

  4. Wow, you're picking Atlantis already? That's fast growing in your region, it's too buggy for me to grow broccoli in spring, they grow better for me here in fall.

  5. Wow I've never seen an animal eat through a row cover before. I just use bird netting on my berries as it keeps the squirrels out (my worst four legged pest most years) and I've never had them eat through that. Though they do occasionally get under that. And those stuffed chard leaves sound delicious.

  6. That's a beautiful harvest of vegetables. Stuffing chard leaves is something I'll have to try, I'll be checking out your recipe.

  7. Star of the show in all that lot (in my opinion) is the Broccolini. In the UK we get "Tenderstem" broccoli, which I think is the same. I have tried growing a couple of this type - like for instance Brokali "Apollo" - and enjoyed it. Mine matured very quickly too, which is a bonus when space is tight. I presume that the Peppermint Stick chard doesn't taste of peppermint, does it?

    1. It just looks like peppermint sticks but the flavor is all chard, a nice mild chard. Apollo is quite similar to Atlantis, quick to mature and tasty.


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