Monday, October 20, 2014

Harvest Monday - October 20, 2014


We had some wonderful weather in the past week.  Well, kind of wonderful.  The temps were fantastic – one day even got to 21°C (70°F) and it was 27° (80°F) with the humidity!  But we also had a lot of rain so my garden chores kept being put off.

But now we are back to more seasonal low teens & single digit weather (around 46°F +/- 10 degrees).
I finally got around to putting away all the hoses and blowing out the drip irrigation lines – of course, I picked one of the chilliest and windiest days to do that.  Hopefully one of these years I will get my act together and do my garden cleanup before jacket and glove weather kicks in.

So on to Harvest Monday.  This week I harvested the last of the lettuce.

Sierra MI - Last of the Lettuce
 
These are still from plants that I sowed WAY back in July, believe it or not.  The Pinares and Simpson Elite have long since bolted but the Sierra MI just kept chugging along.  Good thing too as I never did get around to that fall sowing I was planning to do in late August.

I harvested a whole whack of parsley.  Some will be made into chimichurri while the rest will be going into the freezer.  A couple of heads of broccoli also made it into that harvest basket.
 
Italian Parsley & Packman Broccoli
 
One of the heads was just starting to flower, but we don’t mind.  I’m sure it will still be miles ahead of “perfect” grocery broccoli in the taste department.

I’m hoping to get some harvestable seeds from the cilantro.  The vast majority of the seeds on the plants were still green, but with our cold, wet weather, I doubt they will ripen outside.  So I pulled up all the plants, leaving the roots intact, and hung them upside down in the garage.  Hopefully, the seeds will be able to mature this way.
 
Coriander Seeds
Green but hopefully they will mature as they hang in the garage
 
Since I am only going to be harvesting the seeds and, even then they will likely only add up to a few grams, the cilantro is not included in the tally.

I pulled up the rest of the kohlrabi.
 
Vienna Kohlrabi
 
Apparently it stores very well in the fridge, so I figured I would just pull it all now.  There were brownish marks on some of them - I'm not sure if that indicates that they have gone woody.  Since they are going to be peeled, I'm not too concerned about these surface blemishes but if they turn out to be too woody to eat, I will remove them from the tally.
 
I have found that I quite like kohlrabi when it is cut into sticks & then cooked with a bit of olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet until it starts to caramelize.  The last time we had some, I tossed the leftovers into a Thai curry - yum yum.  But let’s be honest.  What DOESN’T taste good in a Thai curry?

And lastly, we harvested a bunch of lovely kale:

J holding a wonderful bunch of NCK (Not Curly Kale!)
 
In other news, we finally got our new 20 cu. ft. freezer – and I am in love.  It has 3 large baskets that slide across the top and an adjustable divider that divides the bottom of the freezer into 7 compartments.  Since the freezer had to be tilted in order for it to be placed in the basement, we needed to give it a few days for the Freon to settle down before plugging it in.  It is now in its permanent home, plugged in and all ready to go so I can start to transfer the food from my practically overflowing smaller freezer to the new one.

Shot of freezer interior from Homedepot.com

It has 10 distinct & easily accessible areas which means I’m able to allocate a particular food item to each compartment. The dividers go all the way up to just beneath the baskets so there is very little wasted space.  Chicken, seafood and red meat will all have their individual spots now – no more digging underneath a mountain of bread, veggies and roasts searching for that elusive packet of chicken.  Of course I have dedicated several spots for frozen veg as well, and one basket will be exclusively for frozen herbs.

But you know what one of the best parts about the freezer is?  The spring on the door.  Let me clarify.  The spring on my 20 year old chest freezer has weakened over time, I guess, and the door no longer stays open very well.  I can’t tell you how many times I was digging through that freezer when the next thing you know I’m getting bonked on the head by the darn door.  Not worrying about getting a concussion while I’m searching for pork chops is a good thing ;)

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 144 grams (0.32 lbs)
Lettuce – 88 grams (0.19 lbs)
Kale – 418 grams (0.92 lbs)
Kohlrabi – 876 grams (1.93 lbs)
Herbs – 582 grams (1.28 lbs)

Total for Week – 2,108 grams (4.65 lbs)

Total to Date – 216.79 kg (477.94 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.

Till next time…

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

29 comments:

  1. Wow, that kale is impressive! Glad you are happy with your new freezer--love all the compartments!

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    1. We are definitely enjoying the kale. It is mild and slightly sweet so even the kids - will my son anyhow - love it.

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  2. Love parsley! Great health benefits and adds a nice freshness to foods. Nice pic of the coriander seeds. Glad to see youngsters involved in reaping the benefits!
    http://LivingItUpAlternatively.blogspot.com

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    1. The kids love eating garden veg - one of the first things my daughter always asks is if "x" is from the garden. If it is, she usually says "good.." before quickly gobbling it up.

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    2. I love that! Sounds like you are doing a good job. Today we really need to have the young generation expose to fresh stuff and where they come from and when they do know - they will make better choice in eating for good health.

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  3. A lots of thought went into the design and layout of your new freezer I am guessing the designer was someone who knows his/her way in and around the kitchen.

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    1. You said it - I'm surprised it took this long for someone to come up with the idea of adding dividers....like you said, it was likely a frustrated freezer user.

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  4. Wow, I envy the freezer. Sounds like it will make life a lot easier. By the way, you can use the green coriander seeds and they freeze well. Learned that from Michelle.Try tasting one. And you can make coriander-infused vodka for a Cortini this winter. Another way to preserve the harvest.

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    1. That's so interesting about the green coriander seeds - never would have thought to use them. I will definitely give them a taste. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  5. Very cool new freezer!! We would be lost without ours. We are really growing to like Kohlrabi as well. We had a great harvest this spring and really enjoyed it. But none for the fall all the starts died in the hot August weather.

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    1. Even though our grocery store does carry kohlrabi, I never really paid too much attention to it. It's amazing how growing your own food makes you so much more eager to try anything and everything - much more so than a grocery store display.

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  6. I thought I was the only one to get excited about a new freezer, so I know how you feel! I'll bet you can peel away those brown spots on the kohlrabi. That skillet treatment sounds yummy. I will try it with some of our fall harvest. We roast it in the oven sometimes, and there's never any left to go in a curry!

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    1. I looked at my kohlrabi again and I think it may be early slug damage that developed into scars, like you suggested earlier. Oven roasting is another great idea - will definitely give it a try!

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  7. Ditto on the awesome freezer - I tried compartmentalizing with boxes but they wasted too much space. So I just dig (and it drives me nuts!). I was out in BC visiting family last week and my mom's neighbour harvested some kohlrabi. First time I had tried it, and I love it. Will definitely add it to my plans for next year. Hope it's not too tough.

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    1. Oh yes, the boxes - I tried that too. Was a much better idea in theory than in practice. And from what I have learned just this afternoon, it seems like the brownish areas on the kohlrabi are likely to be scars from early slug damage so hopefully, they will still be nice and tender on the inside.

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  8. Lovely, lovely Kale. I now know enough to buy extra seed in the spring as can't find any seed now for the kind I want. Envious of your freezer. I had a chest freezer but no nice compartments like that so got an upright instead but would love one like yours! Have never tried kohlrabi but your making me want to!! Nancy

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    1. Well, this is my first time growing (and eating!) kohlrabi. I find it a bit too "cabbagey" when it's raw, but when it's cooked and particularly caramelized, it's delicious. I also see other bloggers grating it and using it as a slaw - I do like regular cabbage slaw, so I must remember to give that a try.

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  9. I got my first freezer in the spring and I have to say it was one of my most exciting purchases ever! Yours looks fabulous. Do you freeze your parsley in oil? I have a bunch of parsley that I don't know what to do with.

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    1. I have been using Margaret Roach's method of freezing parsley & chives for a couple of years and I must stay it is FABULOUS! You basically wash & pick off all the leaves, spin it dry, then place in a zip lock bag & kind of squeeze it into a log at the bottom of the bag, roll up the bag & secure it with a elastic. When you want to use it, you can just chop off what you need from the end of the log - instant chopped parsley. I keep one log in the fridge freezer, an place the extras in the chest freezer. The only downside is that the parsley should be used in cooked dishes as it is rather limp after being frozen - but all the taste is still there. Here is the link on Margaret's site: http://awaytogarden.com/how-to-freeze-parsley-chives-and-other-herbs/

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  10. Oh my, I have freezer envy. My old 13 cubic foot upright is still working just fine, but I have resorted to the box thing to be able to find things when I want them. Gorgeous kale! And do try the green coriander seeds, they have so much more flavor than the seeds that are allowed to mature and dry on the plants. I harvest mine when they are green and then let them dry, the dried green seeds retain a lot of flavor.

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    1. I was thinking that you would harvest the green coriander seeds and use them fresh; I didn't realize that you could dry them at the green stage. I will pick mine off to dry - can't wait to taste what they are like. Thanks so much Michelle!

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  11. Lovely kale. And isn't a good freezer so nice? I wish I had bought a larger one. I think mine is about 13 cuft. It too has the dividers on the bottom (but only 4) and slidy bins on top (but only two). It does make organization easier. I just wish they would have put channels on the edges to hold the plastic dividers where they belong. When one section fills up and another is almost empty they go diagonal just a bit.

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    1. I know what you mean about the channels for the dividers. When I was positioning them, I was thinking just that. But they are still miles ahead of no dividers at all. One of those improvements where you think "why didn't someone think of this before".

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  12. Here's my favorite kohlrabi recipe.
    http://marysveggiegarden.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/braised-carrots-and-kohlrabi/

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    1. Thanks Mary - that dish sounds easy and delicious! And I just so happen to still have some carrots that I harvested this summer in the cold cellar.

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  13. I will take the kale and freezer please :) We could definitely use one around here.

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    1. I've been wanting a bigger/better/non-"bonking on the head" one for several years now. It was definitely worth the wait!

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  14. Yup, that kale is massive! Mine is tiny in comparison. And what a freezer! My new one is also tiny in comparison but still double the amount that we used to have.

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    1. Large or small, a new freezer sure makes a huge difference, doesn't it?

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