Monday, March 26, 2018

Harvest Monday - March 26, 2018

Spring arrived with a welcome dose of rain last week. An atmospheric river brought a series of rain events through the week which gave a nice boost to the annual total rainfall but still left us quite short of the average total rainfall. I read that it's not likely that we'll be getting much more rain any time soon. It could be that the rainy season is coming to an end for the hydrologic year (October 1 through September 30).

Before the rain arrived I got out to the garden to give the overgrown Special Baby Leaf Chard a hard trim. It had been quite a while since I last harvested any so I got a nice haul of 4 pounds and it could have been more had I been willing to be less selective and not send the oldest tough leaves to the compost. After separating greens and stalks I ended up with 3 8-pound packets of blanched greens in the freezer. More of the fresh greens and the slender stems went into a dish of chard greens simmered in tomato sauce with some leftover sausage. And I used the big fat stems to prepare a dish inspired by this recipe for Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette. I had made the dish once before and found the anchovy vinaigrette to be a bit blah so this time around I used an assertive Caesar dressing and also gave the stems a liberal sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It was delicious.

Special Baby Leaf Chard
I also gave the Pink Lettucy mustard another hard trim and got 4 more pounds of greens to deal with. A generous pound is now in a jar fermenting along. And the rest of the greens got blanched and frozen.

Pink Lettucy Mustard
The second and last head of Napa cabbage was on its way to bolting so I had to harvest it as well. I consigned some of it to the lineup of jars on my kitchen counter that are packed with fermenting produce. I did not make kimchee, which I'm actually not crazy about. I find that I prefer to simply ferment vegetables either all by themselves or with minimal seasonings such as a few cloves of garlic and perhaps a couple of peppers. For this fermentation project I left the leaves whole, salted them down a few hours to wilt them, then packed them into the jar with the juices extracted by the salt, and added enough water to cover the contents of the jar. Half of what remained of the head went into a ramen soup last night along with one of the big Violet de Gournay radishes that I harvested at the end of February, some snow peas, maitake mushrooms, shallots (from last year!), and shrimp. It was a good warming soup for what turned out to be a rather cold and blustery day and evening. Up until Saturday the weather, though wet, had been mild because so it was a bit of a shock to have a wintery day again on Sunday. It's supposed to swing back the other way by the end of the week with highs in the mid-70ºF's.

Little Jade Napa Cabbage
And finally one more harvest of snow peas, this time a full 1 1/2 pounds. I think that production has hit the peak with this harvest. There will be more next week but not this much. These have been so very tasty. I will definitely have to try overwintering more snow peas for early harvests again next year.

Frieda Worlds Snow Peas
Oh, I almost forgot, I also harvested a couple of heads of Three Heart butterhead lettuce, but it was at the end of the day and the light was difficult for taking photos, and the lettuce was meant for immediate consumption so you don't get to see it.

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. There's no making sense of the weather for sure. You need rain and it won't stop raining here! We've had over 16" of rain so far in 2018, more than double last year at this time. The garden is soupy to say the least.

    That's another lovely head of napa cabbage! I need to try a simple ferment of it when mine is ready. I usually just make kimchi with some and use the rest fresh. I got an early taste of the the jicama pickles and I think they are going to be a winner. I seasoned them with a couple cloves of garlic and one dried Aji Angelo pepper, which is my usual for kohlrabi or radish pickles.

  2. Peas of any kind at this time of year are a treat. We have to be satisfied with some taken from the freezer

  3. That looks like a huge head of cabbage, and you're getting lots of snow peas and greens. I'm actually trying a few different mustards this year, including the Pink Lettucy mustard. They're so many greens out there, and they're so rewarding to grow.

  4. Oh, so many fresh greens! I've also found that shallots are incredible keepers - even better than onions, for the most part. I've usually had them keep well into the next season, even up to the next harvest in August.


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