Monday, June 5, 2017

Harvest Monday - June 5, 2017

The last of the fava beans hit the harvest basket this weekend. I had to clear out the plants so that I could move the trellis to the new tomato and pepper bed.

Aquadulce and Extra Precoce Violetto Fava Beans
Dave was happy to hear that "we" passed the 100 pound mark with a final total of 112 pounds of beans in the pod. I'm glad he was happy, he had to peel almost every one of those beans.

Robin Hood Fava Beans
My favorite of the three varieties remains the Extra Precoce Violetto and it wins for 3 reasons. First it is early, the final harvest of mature beans coincided with the need to remove them so that I could move the trellis that I tie them up to. Robin Hood still had some immature beans but it started early and produced well so the last few immature beans weren't an issue. But I pulled a lot of beans off of the Aquadulce plants that needed at least another week to mature and they were later to start so it definitely impacted their overall production. The second reason is that the plants grow to a manageable size, as does Robin Hood, but the Aquadulce plants got to be over 5 feet tall. That's not a deal breaker but it isn't a positive trait. And third, the EPV beans themselves are relatively easy to deal with (for favas) having large pods with large beans that are easy to pop out, as does Aquadulce, but the Robin Hood beans are mostly small and the beans are tightly held within the pods making them more difficult to remove and the small size of the beans makes them more tedious to peel. I think that when I run out of my stock of Aquadulce and Robin Hood beans that I'll stick with the Extra Precoce Violetto beans.

Little Jade Napa Cabbage, Fioretto Stick Cauliflower, Tokyo Bekana
New in the harvest basket last week were a couple of heads of Little Jade napa cabbage. Not quite the babies described on the seed packet, they weighed in at 3.1 and 3.7 pounds. We enjoyed a cabbage slaw with duck confit first and then some Okonomiyaki pancakes. And tonight I'm going to do a cabbage and fava combo dish. I also harvested another small head of Fioretto Stick cauliflower, which now that I go back to read the catalog description is supposed to be small. These turned out to be really good, the heads pull apart easily into long stemmed florets that don't need to be peeled. When blanched the stems turn a pretty bright green which contrasts nicely with the white flower heads, and they are sweet and tender. The flavor is less cabbagy than regular cauliflower. I just wish they were more generous with the number of seeds in that pricey packet. The description claims 60 days to harvest and that was pretty accurate, I sowed the seeds on March 26 and harvested the first heads on May 28.

Little Jade Napa Cabbage, Batavia Broccoli
Three Heart Butterhead, Rosencrantz Crisphead
The overwintered Batavia broccoli is still putting out side shoots. The Batavia broccoli always surprises me by how productive it is. I thought that it was pretty much done the last time I harvested side shoots but there was nearly another pound of shoots ready to harvest yesterday. And the baby lettuces keep on giving also, we've been having a generous salad almost every evening lately.

Red Butter Romaine Lettuce

Rotild and Atomic Red
I'm pulling some nice and some funky spring sown carrots. The Black Nebula carrots are a beautiful dark purple nearly all the way to the core, but they do have a tendency to fork and they get hairy roots and they tend to bolt. Maybe they will do better when grown in the fall.

Black Nebula

Mizunarubasoi and Persian Basil
I've been removing the Mizunarubasoi plants to make room for the fast growing Romanesco zucchini. The last couple of harvests have gone into quick soups, one with rice ramen noodles and shrimp, and another without the noodles but shrimp again and some coconut milk. That's a little sprig of Persian basil that I used to season the coconut milk version. I'm liking the Persian basil a lot. I'll have to do a tasting along with the Corsican and Italian Mountain basils and report on that.

Also harvested but not photographed was the bolting Ho-Mi Z' mustard which I blanched and froze. And also a few runty Tropea Rossa Tonda onions.

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.



14 comments:

  1. Black nebula picture = stunning

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  2. Black Nebula = creepy! Wow, so many fava beans! I might have missed it, but have you spoken about how you preserve them? Because I doubt anyone could eat 112 lbs. fresh! The Little Jade cabbage is really nice looking.

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    1. Now that you mention it, those carrots are a bit creepy looking in that shot. The favas get skinned and frozen in 1/2 pound portions in vacuum sealed bags. They keep a long time that way. I'm actually just finishing off the last of the 2016 harvest. Little Jade is a really nice napa cabbage, very quick to make heads, about 2 months from sowing to harvest here. And it's really tasty too.

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  3. Bean total is impressive. That's a lot of beans, and we'd bee canning like crazy here.

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    1. It's a crazy lot of beans, but my Dave loves favas so I grow a lot. It's also a good way to keep something growing through the winter here.

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  4. That is a LOT of fava beans! I've never grown them (or shelled them) so I can't really relate. The most shelling I've ever done has been blackeyes, which zip out of the pod relatively easily.

    I know what you mean about the Little Jade. Last fall mine got a bit over 3 pounds in size. This spring I am growing Minuet and Soloist, which for me stayed a tad smaller. It only takes about 2 lb to make a quart of kimchi, and it's hard for us to make a 3 pounder disappear!

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  5. Wow - 100 lbs - that's incredible! Well, everyone is getting large "mini-napas" but me - last years fiasco with most of the napas bolting and those that didn't being riddled with holes sort of put a damper on my enthusiasm for growing them. But I'll be trying again, perhaps for a fall harvest. Yeah, I gotta go with Will's creepy carrot assessment ;)

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  6. I am not sure we could manage to eat 100lb of beans. Dave's fingers must have been black after podding that lot! What beautiful coloured carrots, even if the black ones are a bit like something from under the sea!

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    1. The peeled favas freeze beautifully, so we'll be consuming them in various forms over the coming year. Squid tentacles, that's what those roots look like!

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  7. We are still struggling to get some carrots to germinate but the Robin Hood beans have finally emerged.

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  8. You get such lovely lettuces and greens out of your garden. We've just started harvesting a few things, I forget how fun it is to cook dinner directly from the garden.

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  9. You can them fava beans we call them broad eans in the UK, anyway loving your yield. mine are still at flower stage and so small compared to other years, many of my seeds did not germinate well this year, so I will not be getting a fantastic yield this year, but it is better than none at all.

    How do the black nebula carrots taste? I grew a purple variety many years back and was not impressed with the flavour, but they looked fantastic

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    1. Black carrots generally aren't as sweet as orange ones and Black Nebula is not an exception. I don't mind them less sweet though and when I grate them into a salad the color is striking.

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