Monday, March 12, 2018

Harvest Monday - March 12, 2018

There was a bit more in the harvest baskets to show for my seemingly epic efforts this winter to grow something edible that doesn't turn into critter chow.

Red Iceberg Lettuce
Lettuces seemed to be down the list of favorites for the critters. The Red Iceberg lettuces came through unscathed. The Three Heart Butterhead lettuces weren't so fortunate. Wouldn't you know it, of the two heads of Three Heart that I harvested it was the one that was critter trimmed that I photographed, the pretty one escaped both the critters and the camera. I beefed up the security of the cages that I use to protect some of the veggies and they seem to be keeping the furry and feathery chow hounds out for now.

Three Heart Butterhead Lettuce
My favorite way to consume iceberg lettuce is to use the larger leaves as cups for a savory filling. My latest filling was bean thread noodles, snow peas, grated Violet de Gournay radish, and shrimp. The seasonings were shallots, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, fermented pepper paste, and sugar. The butterhead lettuces went into salads.

Joe's Giant Aji Peppers
Frieda World Snow Peas
Aji Amarillo Grande Peppers
The latest harvest of snow peas surprised me when it came in at a full pound. I should have harvested twice but didn't get around to it so some of them are a bit big and wonky again. It's a pain in the neck to have to uncover the trellis every time I want to harvest something so once a week will have to do. I'm pleased with how the Frieda World peas are producing, the taller varieties definitely have a longer harvest time than the short varieties, so in that respect I prefer them, but protecting the tall vines from the birds isn't as easy as the short vines.  I do prefer to eat the snow peas fresh rather than having a glut that needs to be preserved or given away so I'll probably continue to grow the tall varieties with their stretched out harvests. I did actually have another harvest of snow peas but not the Frieda Worlds, I gleaned what I could when I removed the Sweet Horizon pea plants from the cage where I had overwintered them. The critters were getting into the cage and eating the peas so it was time to get rid of the plants and plug the gaps in the cage. The peas weren't a total loss because not only did I rescue a few ounces of peas but I also got a number of harvests of pea shoots through the winter. The shelling pea plants that were sharing space in the cage didn't have any peas ready to harvest, but again, they did produce a few rounds of shoots.

I can't forget about those glowing peppers. The tired old Aji plants rendered up a few more peppers, not prime specimens but perfectly respectable. More fodder for the fermentation jars.

Pink Lettucy Mustard
Mustard greens are not a critter favorite either, at least the varieties that I want to eat. I got a nice big bunch of Pink Lettucy mustard that I wrote about a few days ago. What's odd to me is that the birds were going at the Kodiak mustard greens that I have growing as a cover crop in another bed, they were on the way to prematurely mowing the greens down for me until I covered them up again. Maybe I should try some of the Kodiak mustard myself!

Also harvested last week but not photographed was a bunch of Golden Corn Salad and some stalks of Pink Plume celery. The corn salad volunteers around the garden and tends to not be a target of the voles but it does have to get to a certain size before the birds stop weeding it out for me.

The weather has warmed up and we've had a little bit of rain and the garden has responded positively. It's starting to feel like spring.

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. Your lettuce looks great, even the one that got the haircut ;) It won't be long now before I get to start some lettuce seeds around here - can't wait as this store bought stuff just doesn't compare. And I agree with you on the peas - I would rather have smaller harvests that last a longer amount of time than a ton of peas in a two week period.

    1. Lettuce is one of the veggies that if there isn't any in the garden then I don't eat any, the store bought stuff and even the lettuce at the farmer's market is always a disappointment.

  2. We have had a lot of rain - too much rain. All e harvested last week Mere some sprouts.

    1. You have had an epic winter! Rain and snow and more rain...

  3. I don't think I've ever seen red iceberg lettuce before, that's a beauty! I've been using store-bought lettuce leaves with savory fillings lately. The last was a Korean beef creation with veggies. I even used one of my Bora King radishes from last fall, sauteed lightly. I've got Pink Lettucy coming up indoors now and I will set it out when it gets bigger. Are the mustards prone to bolting like the chois are? I'm trying to judge when to put them in the greenhouse and cold frame beds.

    1. It's just the outer leaves that are red on the Red Iceberg so once you remove those the rest of the head looks like regular old Iceberg. It sure is pretty in the garden though. Those small Daikon radishes do keep incredibly well in the fridge and stay tasty too.

      My Pink Lettucy mustard has started to bolt now. I started the seeds indoors mid-December and set them out in mid-January. I expect to get a few more harvests of the last of the regular leaves and then the "raab" since I didn't crowd the plants and they have plenty of room to produce side shoots, which they are doing prolifically. Keep in mind that the weather this December and January broke heat records here - highs up to 80ºF a few times!

  4. Hi Michelle, long time, no see! :-) I don't know why but a guess I've been too busy. These days I write in a Swedish blog called The Kitchen Garden KÖKSTRÄDGÅRDEN Do come and visit, but it is in my native tongue  But I guess you can always hit the translate button. I haven't visit your blog for a very long time. But hey, I'm back. I've have a lot of reading to do to catch up with everything you been doing in your garden. I found an old empty envelope 'Yellow Manzano’, seeds I got from you a long ago. Then I wondered…hm “What is Michelle up to these days?”
    Great to be here again
    Greetings from a girl still waiting for spring/ Tyra

  5. Your lettuce cups sound delicious. It's such a surprise seeing peppers in your harvest basket. I actually just bought seed for the Pink Lettucy mustard, hopefully it'll do well in our climate as well.


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