Monday, October 6, 2014

Harvest Monday - October 6, 2014


Not a whole lot to report this week – I have a feeling that this will be the standard theme until winter sets in.

One notable exception to the same ol’ same ol’…another first for me.  Broccoli.
 
First Head of Packman Broccoli
 
Not the biggest head, that’s for sure, but so very exciting nonetheless!  I don’t know what it is about certain crops, but it almost seems a bit magical when they produce.  I felt this way when the onions bulbed up and now when the broccoli formed a head, small as it may be.  Or perhaps it’s not the crops themselves, but more the fact that it’s the first time I’ve grown them.

I harvested a tiny bit of Tyee spinach from the plants that I had meant to pull a while back but never actually did it.  And good thing too as this bit of spinach is especially welcome, considering I never did get around to doing that fall sowing like I was supposed to.  The spinach was teamed up in the basket with some lovely Russian Kale:
 
Russian Kale & Tyee Spinach
 
I harvested a couple of the bunching onions that had signs of onion maggot damage.  I'm going to try to leave those with no (visible) damage to overwinter for next year.

Perennial Bunching Onions
 
The whole point behind perennial bunching onions is that you only sow them once.  They overwinter, coming back year after year, and they multiply at the base.  You simply pull out what you need, when you need it, leaving the rest to continue to multiply.  But I am finding that this particular variety grows very large before it starts to multiply.  And then the “multiplier” portion is also very large, right from the start.  Here is a photo of the same onions that I pulled, once they have been cleaned up:
 
Bunching Onions - Cleaned Up
 
The onion on the right is almost 1½” across & weighed in at 190 grams (6.7 oz)!  To me, that's the equivalent of 3 or 4 "regular" bunching onions.  I prefer green onions to be on the smaller side, like those on the left.  Around ½” would be ideal.  The smaller onions in the photo are singles from the original spring sowing that have not grown large enough to start multiplying yet.  I have to investigate to see if there are any varieties that are smaller than these.  But if this is how all varieties are – or those that are hardy in my area anyhow – then they will have to do.  I love the whole idea of having a perennial green onion patch, even if the onions aren’t exactly the size I would have liked.

Also harvested but not photographed was a good picking of Pak Choi and a bit of lettuce.  I suppose one of the good things about the temps getting consistently down to 5°C or so (41°F) is that the slugs will hopefully leave the greens alone now.

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 130 grams (0.29 lbs)
Chinese Cabbage – 610 grams (1.34 lbs)
Kale – 284 grams (0.63 lbs)
Lettuce – 38 grams (0.08 lbs)
Bunching Onions – 304 grams (0.67 lbs)
Spinach – 40 grams (0.09 lbs)

Total for Week – 1,406 grams (3.10 lbs)

Total to Date – 214.45 kg (472.78 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

16 comments:

  1. Lovely broccoli. And the first time you harvest something is always special. Though broccoli to me is always special anyway as it never produces that well, so I never get a true glut of it at any time. Whatever I get I'm very happy for.

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    1. Broccoli is one of my favourite veg too. It's too bad I couldn't plant them out earlier and get the added benefit of side shoots from each plant.

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    2. This is the first year I've ever successfully grown broccoli although I don't have too much. Similar to you, I barely got to harvest the heads so my chance of side shoots. To be honest, I thought maybe the side shoots came first and you harvest those while the head develops, but I now know better.

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    3. It's funny what we sometimes think before we grow a crop...now that I know that the onions were damaged by onion maggots, I find it hard to believe that I thought it was something else. It's all about learning - and next year both you and I will have a bumper crop of broccoli, right? :)

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  2. I still think broccoli is an amazing vegetable to grow, the sprouting types are usually long term generous producers in my garden. I rarely get big main heads, probably because I don't grow varieties that make big main heads, but the leafy side shoots are my favorite anyway. It certainly is chilly where you are, that would be a COLD winter day here. I am such a spoiled weather wimp.

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    1. I totally agree on the broccoli - I would much rather have a small central head with a ton of side shoots producing over a long period. Wow - You ARE spoiled when it comes to winter temps! Thankfully our daytime highs are still in the low teens (around 50-55F) during the day so I can still do outside chores without gloves. Once the gloves have to come out - that's when it becomes a real pain.

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  3. Broccoli is always special for me. The performance here for me is spotty. And I do love to eat it too! For me, Packman usually makes lots of side shoots.

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    1. Unless the fall is exceptionally drawn out, I doubt I will be harvesting any side shoots from this crop. But I am thoroughly enjoying what I am getting and it was a learning experience that I can take into next year when I plan to do a spring planting and get LOTS of side shoots in the summer.....hopefully.

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  4. That is a respectable head of broccoli. I haven't had great success with it but it is worth growing because the flavor is so much better than store bought. And the side shoots taste even better in my opinion.

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    1. Thanks David. That is definitely one of the best reasons to grow you own food - not because it's the biggest or the prettiest but because it tastes the best!

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  5. I still think it is magical when things grow and produce even though we have grown some things for years, It;s sor oif a feeling of conquering all those things that try to thwart us like onion maggots

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    1. So true - the first year I grew brassicas I had cabbage worms on everything. It was amazing having so few issues with them this year - the netting did wonders. Next year I have my sights on those slugs and onion maggots!

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  6. Gorgeous broccoli! I always grew Packman, but did not this year and regret that immensely. The one I grew produced lots of small bunches--I miss the great big head of Packman-beautiful, impressive and you feel like you are REALLY harvesting something special.
    And again-I'm going to try that Kale that you grow. I grew the "frilly" kind and it's a bugs paradise--milliions of spots to hide.

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    1. Oh - when I saw that itty bitty head forming I practically jumped up and down - so exciting! I think you will really like the Russian kale - it is quickly becoming a favourite - tastes great, easy to clean and the purplish stems are so pretty too.

      And I really truly hope you are feeling much better since your trip was cut short. Sending good thoughts your way...

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  7. Hi! That is a pretty little head of broccoli. You can be proud! Nice spinach and kale too. I wish I would have started more Kale than what I did. My spinach is growing but far from ready. My lettuce will be ready before snow I think but not yet! I am impatient and it seems to take forever for these things to grow! Nancy

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    1. It is really still hit or miss for me on fall crops it seems. And I completely agree - they do seem to take FOREVER to mature. I suppose with the cooler days that's really not that much of a surprise, but it doesn't make us any less impatient, does it? ;)

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