Monday, May 30, 2016

Harvest Monday - May 30, 2016

Monday snuck up on me this week because of the Memorial Day holiday so I'm a bit late this morning getting my post done.

I had a few new additions to the harvest basket last week, both new for the season and entirely new varieties.

Buck's Horn Plantain

Buck's Horn (or Buckshorn) Plantain, aka Minutina or Erba Stella, is making a return to my garden after at least a decade. I grew, or tried to grow it in my previous garden and what I remember about it was that the aphids and ants invaded and I never really got to enjoy it. I was reminded of it when our Harvest Monday host Dave wrote a spotlight post about its more wild cousins so I decided to give it a try again. I'm glad I did, the succulent and slightly crunchy leaves have a nice mild flavor reminiscent of spinach and make a nice addition to a salad. You can read more about it in this informative article from Mother Earth News.

Palla Rossa Radicchio

Another new variety in my garden is Palla Rossa Radicchio, Wild Garden Seed says that it is a good variety for spring planting so I decided to test that and at least one of the plants that I set out this spring has made a nice head. It's difficult to tell by just looking at the plant, it just seems to be a big fluffy head of green leaves, but I could tell that there was something in there when I gave the center of the head a squeeze so I harvested it and trimmed it back and found a really nice head.

Palla Rossa Radicchio

Palla Rossa Radicchio

Little Jade Napa Cabbage

Little Jade Napa Cabbage is returning to the garden this spring. It hasn't been gone long, only a year.

Fresh Caper Buds

Capers have been in the garden all along but I didn't harvest any last year, so they are making a comeback this spring.

Bolero or Nelson Carrots

I didn't grow any carrots last year so this spring I made sure to get some going. I'm trying all new varieties. These are the first significant thinnings from the patch. The orange ones in the photos are either Nelson or Bolero, I can't remember which is which. The red ones are Pusa Rudhira Red, an OP variety from India.

Pusa Rudhira Red and Nelson or Bolero Carrots

The carrots shown below are supposed to be more Pusa Rudhira Red and also Pusa Asita Black, but none of them came out as expected. A couple of those red ones came from the patch of supposedly black carrots and the black ones are supposed to be solid black (actually a very dark purple). The funny thing about the black carrots is that Baker Creek actually sent a replacement packet of seeds because they found that the seed from the lot that they first sent me weren't true to type. Oh well... They tasted fine, I've been grating them and adding them to my salads. I pulled all of them because they were shading out the one other variety that I'm trying.

Supposedly Pusa Rudhira Red and Pusita Asita Black Carrots

Rossa Savonese and Rossa Lunga di Firenze

I pulled a couple of red onions to enjoy. There's plenty of them in the garden and I know that the Rossa Lunga di Firenze onions aren't good keepers so I decided to start enjoying them as spring onions. The Rossa Savonese is new in the garden and I'm hoping it will be a keeper, but one of them had split so I pulled it give it a try. Both of them were really tasty grilled, nice and sweet.

Di Maggio Cippollini

I pulled another splitting cippollini onion, this time to use in a batch of Okonomiyaki, the cabbage and scallion pancakes that I learned about from Daphne.
Extra Precoce Violetto Favas

The fava harvests continued. That's the last of the Extra Precoce Violettos shown above. I've already cut down the plants and shredded them for compost.

Robin Hood Favas

The Robin Hood favas produced a big round of beans and there's at least an equal amount left on the plants. Those are going to all get harvested today, ready or not.

Aurelia Basil
I don't tally my herb harvests but thought I would show some of the Aurelia basil that I harvested. It's a nice sweet variety from Genoa that's supposed to be really good for basil pesto but so far I've just been enjoying it in various dishes. One night we enjoyed it in a topping for bruschetta that included chopped peeled favas, green olives, and feta cheese.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Little Jade napa cabbage - 3 lb., 3.7 oz.
Capers - 4.8 oz.
Carrots - 1 lb., 4.9 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto favas - 13 lb., 5.2 oz.
Robin Hood favas - 9 lb., 12.9 oz.
Di Maggio cippollini onion - 13 oz.
Rossa Lunga di Firenze onion - 10.9 oz.
Rossa Savonese onion - 7.8 oz.
Buck's Horn plantain - 11 oz.
Palla Rossa Radicchio - 13.3 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 31 lb., 7.5 oz. (14.3 kg.)
2016 YTD - 230 lb., 6.9 oz. (105 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. That is some lovely radicchio! I've never gotten any to head up here in spring. I got seed for that Buckshorn plantain but never got around to planting it. I may have to try it this fall if the seed is still viable. It looks like you've got some nice onions coming along too. I pulled one of the Red Tropea I'm growing as scallions today to put in my kimchi. It's so nice to have fresh onions!

  2. The caper plant is worth growing just for the beautiful flowers!

  3. Wow - that radicchio is gorgeous! Just wondering about the "Little Jade" napa - is the 3 lb total for that single one or does that include any more? I'm trying out 3 different varieties, all of which are supposed to produce "small" heads, but it seems that that's a relative term when it comes to napa - 3 lbs. would still be pretty large to me. And that bruschetta sounds delicious! I've made a note to give that a go once my favas come in.

    1. Little Jade is supposed to be a mini version, but that 3 pounds is one cabbage weighed after trimming off the loose leaves.

  4. I think I planted my Palla Rossa Radicchio too close - wasn't expecting the loose leafs to be so bushy around the head. Oh well, I guess they'll get thinned more than I'd planned. Yours look wonderful, mine are at least 5-6 weeks away.

    And capers, wow, I've only had them from a jar (brined or pickled, I guess). Is that the flower that grows? It's beautiful.

    1. That is the caper blossom. It oftens seems like a shame to pick the buds because you ,iss out on the blossoms. If you ever see salt packed capers give them a try, they are infinitely better than the ones packed in vinegar.

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  6. Beautiful harvests. I'm stunned by the caper flower - - I've never given capers a second thought in terms of where they come from, but what a fun harvest!

  7. How odd about the carrots being the wrong colour. I suppose they were reverting to their original colouring. In days gone by, carrots were supposedly all a pale white / brownish colour like the wild varieties still are. I never have any success growing chicory or radicchio in the Spring or Summer; they only do well for me in the Autumn. That one in your photo looks pretty good though.

  8. As always, stunning, enviable harvests. I will look for salt-packed capers.

  9. Wow. Your radicchio, napa cabbage, and carrots look so amazing. I think carrots are unable to penetrate our dense clay soil, I'm going to try growing them in containers.

  10. Beautiful harvest. I have never been able to get radicchio to head up without bolting, probably our weather. I agree with the salted capers. We got some in a gift basket and they were wonderful. I think you have to mail-ordrr them because I have never seen any for sale around here.


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