Monday, February 18, 2019

Harvest Monday - February 18, 2019

The wet weather is just not going away. There's a few Weather Underground stations in Carmel Valley that I keep an eye on and they vary from a total of 15 inches to 24 inches to nearly 27 inches for the Hydrologic year starting October 1. I know the 15 inch amount is off because that station didn't show any precipitation after at least one big storm. For comparison the totals for the entire 2017/18 Hydrologic Year were about half those amounts. All the rain has not kept me from hiking, I have plenty of rain gear, but it has kept me from working in the garden because the soil is just too soggy to work, even in my raised beds. Soggy conditions do not keep me from harvesting though.

I got another harvest of kalettes and carrots. Autumn star was the first variety of kalettes to make sprouts big enough to harvest but now the plant is winding down and the sprouts are getting smaller. But the Mistletoe kalettes are in their prime now. The entire harvest kalettes were roasted in a cast iron skillet with some parsnips. I boiled the the kalettes for 2 minutes first to both rid them of the aphids lurking in the leaves and to make them more tender.

Mistletoe and Autumn Star Kalettes
Short Stuff Carrots

The parsnips are certainly easier to pull out of the soggy soil. This is the bunch that got paired with the kalettes.
Cilantro, I'itoi Onions, Gladiator Parsnips
The lettuce is all gone now but the Golden Corn Salad that volunteered in one of the beds is ready for harvesting. I sampled one small harvest.

Golden Corn Salad
That first small harvest was so good that I had to have more and I cut an even larger bunch the second time around.

Golden Corn Salad
I pulled this rutabaga to use in a pot roasted beef shoulder (local grassfed beef that I got at the farmer's market). The recipe that I followed actually called for celery root but I didn't want to cut up one of the huge celery root from the garden to use just a small portion of it for the roast so I tried the rutabaga instead, and still I only used half the rutabaga. The roast came out great, the rutabaga (and carrot and onion and garlic) that slow cooked along with a half bottle of Syrah along with the roast got pureed to make a fabulous sauce for the beef. We don't eat beef very often but that roast was so comforting and delicious that it got me craving more.

Improved Helenor Rutabaga

We eat a lot of soup when the weather turns cold and wet and the other half of that rutabaga was great in another big pot of soup. A half of a rutabaga alone does not make a big pot of soup, I also used a big bunch of lacinato kale (from the farmer's market, not mine, bummer), and bacon, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, lentils, farro, tomato paste, rosemary, bay. Perfect for a cold and stormy night.

There's still lots of celery coming from the garden.

Pink Plume Celery

And finally, another harvest of Brussels sprouts. They are very good now, all the rain and cold weather has plumped them up and make them as sweet as they can get. I shredded these and made a salad with them using a homemade caesar dressing and also added chopped roasted hazelnuts, currants, and shredded Parmesan. I want more of that too.

Gustus Brussels Sprouts

That's the latest from my winter garden. Head on over to Dave's blog Our Happy Acres to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. That corn salad looks so wonderful! I'm hoping to grow a variety of salad greens this year, but only a small handful of each - corn salad is in the plan and hopefully I don't have germination issues, which has been the case in the past (and of course yours self-seeds everywhere!)

    1. What I learned about growing corn salad is that it needs cool temperatures to germinate. So if you're starting it indoors don't give it any bottom heat. The volunteers in my garden start showing up in the late fall, but I almost never see them in the summer.

  2. It’s on the dry side here so no plumping of the sprouts. They are still tiny.

  3. You are getting a lot of variety from your winter veggies! That's a great tip on boiling the kalettes to get rid of aphids. They sometimes get on my winter greens and that sounds better than trying to just wash them away in the sink.

    It's great news to hear about all the rain. I saw in the news that there's been a lot of snow in the mountains which will help replenish the water supplies when it melts. 24 inches in five months time beats the amount we usually get, though ours tends to be year round and not just seasonal.

  4. We had our first grandchild born yesterday so I'm late to the party. What lovely harvests. The beef entree sounds dreamy. I agree, when you have beef or other meat, make it the best and most sustainable. Just eat less. The prep method of pureeing at the end is one I'll have to try. Those aphids! Thankfully none yet in my garden, but they'll arrive when the weather warms. Don't we love all the rain. We're up close to 12 inches here in San Diego which is a couple above normal for the season.

  5. I have no idea how to cook the celery.


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