Monday, May 2, 2016

Harvest Monday - May 2, 2016

It's time for me to catch up on my blog. Computer problems made it too difficult to post anything for a while, but now I'm back.  

I harvested a few rounds of chard from the overwintered plants, which are still producing although the Peppermint  Stick plants are starting to bolt. I'm really surprised at how large the plants have grown to be since they were really neglected and puny when I planted them out last fall and they stayed that way through the winter. I thought it likely that they would bolt before producing very many greens but they really took off and grew once the weather warmed up a bit.

Italian Silver Rib Chard
Peppermint Stick Chard
I used the big leaves from the harvest of Peppermint Stick chard shown above to make bundles stuffed with the chopped stems, green garlic, fava beans and cheese. I baked the rolls in some tomato sauce from the freezer. Dave deemed them to be delicious and I agree, I'll be trying them again.

Quinoa Stuffed Chard Bundles
The winter sown cresses grew quite well but started to bolt so I harvested all of those in the past few weeks. These were all used primarily in salads but I also used some in the wraps that Dave and I like to take on our longer weekend day hikes. That will be it for the cresses until the fall, they tend to bolt right away in the longer and warmer days of spring and summer.

Greek Cress
Persian Broadleaf Cress
I have managed to keep the radish successions going so far, the same four varieties have been in each succession - Helios, Malaga, Pink Punch, and Petit Dejeuner. A packet of seeds lasts a long time when you only sow 8 or 10 seeds at a time. It only takes a few weeks from sowing to harvesting at this time of year. The biggest challenge is to remember to sow more seeds every few weeks.

Malaga, Helios, Pink Punch, and Petit Dejeuner Radishes
I also tried a few new varieties, a couple of which are from India and they are supposed to be heat tolerant. One of them bolted before they developed any substantial roots. Not only that but they turned out to be nothing like the description or photo in the catalog. The greens were really nice though and I used them in a soup along with one of the big fat parsnips that are still keeping amazingly well in the fridge. I served the soup garnished with the chopped roots which I pickled slightly along with some coarse grained mustard. That soup was a surprising hit.

Not Pusa Jamuni radishes.
The other Indian radish that I tried isn't as described either, it's supposed to be white skinned with rosy flesh.

Not Pusa Gulabi radish
As you can see it is white fleshed with a rosy skin, very much like the China Rose radish that I grew last year. It's actually a very nice radish, large and mild flavored, but not what I was expecting.

Sliced Not Pusa Gulabi radish
Another new radish in the lineup was Plum Purple, but most of those bolted early as well, there's a few in the basket below. It's probably better suited as a winter radish, meant to be sown in the fall.

The usual radishes plus Plum Purple

I managed to get just one harvest of Apollo arugula before it started to bolt also. Here's a few of the plants that were pushing up flower stalks. There's more plants left in the garden, but I'll have to harvest them soon. This variety of arugula makes some huge leaves with somewhat smooth edges, it doesn't look like a typical arugula, but the flavor is spot on.

Apollo Arugula
The Extra Precoce Violetto favas have been maturing. These are the earliest favas to produce of any variety that I've ever tried. This year I'm also trying a variety called Robin Hood, which is supposed to be an early producer as well, but it's just now finally on the verge of producing beans large enough to harvest.

The first harvest of Extra Precoce Violetto favas.
The first harvest wasn't all that large and we ate them all in one sitting, slicked with olive oil, tossed with green garlic, and roasted. The best thing about roasting the favas in the pod is that the entire bean is edible except for the strings that run the length of the pod.

I used more of the favas in a braise of spring vegetables with asparagus, green garlic, chard, and celery root. For that dish I just popped the beans out of the pods but didn't peel them - less work and bigger yield!

Extra Precoce Violetto favas
But the latest harvest of beans will be peeled and frozen.

Extra Precoce Violetto Favas
Both varieties of overwintered spinach were bolting so here's the final harvests of them.

Verdil Spinach
Summer Perfection Spinach
I've thinned the Mizunarubasoi (mizuna+tatsoi+maruba cross) twice now.

And there's not much of the rusty garlic left in the garden. I've been working my way through the patch, pulling one variety at a time. I trimmed off most of the icky parts before photographing the stalks but you can see some of the remnants of the spoiled leaves.

Susanville Garlic

Lorz Italian Garlic
I made a couple of batches of Garlic Cream to stash in the freezer but then just started using the fresh green garlic in as many dishes as I could. One dish I came up with that used a lot of the garlic was Green Garlic Pudding Soufflés. This is an adaptation of my Green Chile Pudding Soufflés which was an adaptation of Corn Pudding Soufflés (not my recipe). Dave and I both loved these and I'm going to have to make them again before the green garlic is gone.

Green Garlic Pudding Souffle

Red Butter Romaine lettuce
I cut the first small head of Red Butter Romaine lettuce, a cross of Outredgeous and Sucrine, from Frank Morton at Wild Garden Seed. It's a sweet lovely red romaine shaped lettuce. It will be interesting to see how these are when they are more mature, the hearts are supposed to become a pale green and have a buttery soft texture. Not photographed was the last head of the winter planting of Three Heart butterhead lettuce to be harvested, it looked a bit tired but was still delicious once the tired parts were trimmed off.

Batavia Broccoli

My experiment with sowing broccoli seeds directly in the garden under cloches back in January has been a success. I just harvested that big beautiful head shown above yesterday. The experiment didn't necessarily result in an earlier harvest of broccoli, last year I sowed Purple Peacock and Atlantis Brokali in January and started harvesting them in April, but I was saved the extra work of potting the seedlings up from an initial group sowing into 4-inch pots, then up to larger pots, and then into the garden. It's always nice to reduce the work required to get veggies going in the garden!

This was dinner last night, Broccoli Panzanella, featuring broccoli florets, spring onions, parsley, and shrimp. I made the croutons from homemade levain bread flavored with garlic cream and parmesan. And there's still more than half the head of broccoli left!

Here's the details of the harvests for the past 3 weeks:

Apollo arugula - 6.5 oz.
Batavia broccoli - 2 lb., 7.5 oz.
Italian Silver Rib chard - 2 lb., 15.2 oz.
Peppermint Stick chard - 1 lb., 14.1 oz.
Greek cress - 6.1 oz.
Persian Broadleaf cress - 12.7 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans - 10 lb., 2.4 oz. (weighed in the pods)
Lorz Italian green garlic - 15.2 oz.
Mild French green garlic - 1 lb., 2 oz.
Spanish Roja green garlic - 5.3 oz.
Susanville green garlic - 2 lb., 6.8 oz.
Three Heart butterhead lettuce - 5.4 oz.
Mizunarubasoi - 14.1 oz.
Helios radishes - 10.6 oz.
Malaga radishes - 11.1 oz.
Petit Dejeuner radishes - 6.7 oz.
Pink Punch radishes - 10.5 oz.
Plum Purple radishes - 1 lb., 7.1 oz. (including greens)
Pusa Gulabi radish - 4.9 oz.
Pusa Jamuni radishes - 2 lb., 6.9 oz. (including greens)
Summer Perfection spinach - 32.3 oz.
Verdil spinach - 21.8 oz.

Total harvests for the past 3 weeks - 35 lb., 1.2 oz. (15.9 kg.)
YTD 2016 - 128 lb., 10.5 oz. (58.4 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. What an impressive and colorful harvest! Those stuff chard rolls look DELICIOUS. I might have to try imitating them.

  2. Your spinach and greens are doing so well. And the broccoli and radishes are so pretty.

    We don't have much going in terms of spring vegetables, but hopefully I can get the summer crops planted soon.

  3. Oh everything looks so amazing and yummy...those soufflés are perfection! And here you are talking about first fava harvests & bolting Swiss chard & mine were just sown/transplanted.

    I can't wait until our weather warms up a bit - like your chard, I do have some overwinting spinach that was supposed to provide us with a few greens in early spring, but it's just sitting there. At this rate, I'll be eating some newly sown greens before the overwintered ones (if they don't bolt before then!)

  4. You do have a lot of harvests to catch up on! My arugula is bolting here too, some before I can even get it planted. That Mizunarubasoi looks much like the Mizspoona I've been growing. Now I need to make some of your garlic cream with my green garlic.

  5. Crumbs, what a lovely variety. I'm very jealous of the chard rolls, mmm. My autumn sown fava beans (broad beans) have started flowering but it'll be a while before I get a crop.

    The radishes also look brilliant....I used to get reasonable harvests but the last few years they've been quite woody (or half-eaten by slugs)

  6. My, so much going on! The first picture of the Extra Precoce Violetto favas look like little worm soldiers standing at attention - maybe it's just me :) And well, you can imagine what I thought of the next picture of them.

    Too bad about the Indian radish - you would definitely expect something from India to be more heat tolerant!

    Susanville garlic - I like the name! As always, your harvests are bountiful!

  7. That broccoli looks amazing, and I love the idea of a green garlic soufle - I'll be trying that!


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