Monday, November 10, 2014

Harvest Monday - November 10, 2014


This week I harvested the last of the Mei Qing Choi.
 
Last of the Mei Qing Choi
 
Instead of harvesting the outer leaves, this time I cut the entire head.   Chinese cabbage would never survive our winter - although I should really never say never especially when it comes to the garden ;)

After I cut off the heads, I noticed small buds on the outside of the stalk:
 
Buds on Mei Qing Choi Stalk
 
These were transplanted out at the end of July but next year I plan to do a spring sowing (in an effort to avoid pests - this particular variety seems to attract more than its fair share).  I wonder if I will get some harvestable growth along the stalk in the early summer – that’s if the slugs & aphids don’t get to it first.

I also harvested a few stalks of Russian kale and the last (very) small head of broccoli.
 
Russian Kale & Packman Broccoli
 
This is the last broccoli head but I may get a few small harvests from the rest of the plants depending on how our weather goes in the next little while (although it doesn’t look that promising).  The tiny little heads are just starting to form:
 
Late Planted Broccoli just Forming Heads
 
All of the broccoli harvested so far has been from the Packman plants.  About half of the later planting (that will likely not amount to much) was also Packman, while the remaining plants were a variety called Munchkin.  When I took a closer look at the Munchkin plants, they had a ton of side shoots growing from the leaf axils, even as the central head was less than in inch wide.
 
Munchkin Broccoli - Baby Side Shoots
 
I’m thinking this may be a promising side-shoot variety for next year.  Sorry about the blurry pictures - It was really windy when I took the side shoot photos and I think I may not have held the camera as steady as I should have.

I harvested practically all of the NCK which will be blanched and frozen.
 
Huge Pile of Kale Destined for the Freezer
 
In a prior post I talked about how these were supposed to be curly kale – that’s what the seed packet said anyhow.  But once they started to grow, it was apparent that they were in fact some other variety of kale.  Best guess is that it may be a form of Siberian Kale.  As some kales can overwinter (although I have never tried this myself), I decided to leave the plants in the ground to see if I they pulled through, providing me with an early spring harvest.
 
NCK Left to Overwinter
 
Interestingly enough, these too seem to be developing shoots along the leaf axils:
 
NCK Shoots
 
And lastly, I harvested a few more perennial bunching onions.
 
Perennial Bunching Onions
 
Our daily highs are definitely getting a lot chillier in the next couple of weeks.  Other than a couple of days in the high single digits, we are looking at highs of around 2°– 3° C (around 36° F).  So far, all the lows are forecast to be in the -1° to -3°C range (26°-30°F).  I’m keeping a close eye on them as I want to make sure I get out there and harvest any veg that may be killed by temperatures that are too low for them to bear.

Still in the garden beds are Russian kale, broccoli (plants) and Joi Choi Chinese cabbage, all of which should be fine at those temperatures.  The bunching onions are supposed to overwinter so they stay in the ground regardless.

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 24 grams (0.05 lbs)
Chinese Cabbage – 1,868 grams (4.12 lbs)
Kale – 1,736 grams (3.83 lbs)
Onions – 320 grams (0.71 lbs)

Total for Week – 3,948 grams (8.70 lbs)

Total to Date – 226.03 kg (498.30 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

19 comments:

  1. The bok choy looks so good. I think I'm going to harvest mine starting this week. Our temperatures have been fairly nice so far. We might hold off on permanently frozen ground for a while. You just never know in November. It could be frozen for good in the middle or it could wait until December. I hope it holds off.

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    1. We will be getting one good day tomorrow but that's about it. I think that last year our ground was frozen by the end of November and it looks like we are headed in the same direction this time round.

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  2. Nice harvest, good to have anything coming from the garden this time of year. And your kale definitely looks like the Siberian kale I grow, which can be winter hardy depending on which winter you are talking about. Temps are looking pretty good here this week despite warnings about the storm hitting the Aleutians sucking cold air down from Canada into the Midwest. I guess we are going to miss that fun.

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    1. They are predicting a very bad winter - probably in the same vein as last year. The only saving grace was we had consistent snow cover on all the beds for pretty much the entire winter which served as a nice bit of insulation against the bitter cold. Hopefully we will get some nice snow accumulations (that stick around) again this year.

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  3. I'm shivering just reading about your weather, I'm so spoiled by the mild weather here. That was a generous harvest of kale, the NCK seems to be well suited to your climate.

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    1. You are spoiled!! And I am definitely loving the NCK - I have to figure out how to collect seed from kale - that's a bit of research I'm planning to do over the winter.

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  4. I have never tried bunching onions before but after seeing yours I think I will. Look good.

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    1. Thanks! This was my first time growing green onions and they have done quite well. This year I only grew one variety, but next year I be trying at least two more.

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  5. I love those bunching onions! Such a long "white" part - mine are usually just a centimeter or so then all greens. Any particular variety? And you referred to them as perennial? Do they reseed themselves or something?

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    1. These are He-Shi-Ko perennial bunching onions that I grew from seed. And they are supposed to be perennial...as in they overwinter & come back each year. Each onion divides as the season progresses and you simply harvest what you need, leaving the rest to continue dividing. This variety is nice, but I would actually prefer a smaller (skinnier) green onion as I usually don't use a huge quantity at once. I harvested one that was almost 200 grams!

      As for the perennial part - there are many different varieties of perennial bunching onions and some are hardier than others. This is my first time growing them, so we shall see if this particular variety makes it through one of our winters.

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  6. I love the Mei Qing Choi. It is probably my favorite choi. I sowed some seed for the greenhouse today. As for saving kale seed, it needs to overwinter. Then it will flower next spring and getting seed is easy after that point. The tough part for me is getting it to survive the winter. I am trying to get my Beedy's Camden (a Siberian type) to overwinter here. I plan on covering it with row cover material once the weather gets really cold. We will see if it makes it!

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    1. I thought that this might be the case for the kale - I have never seen one flower so it makes sense that it would happen in the second year. Hopefully mine survives, which would give me the benefit of both an early harvest & seeds. If not, then I still have plenty of seeds in the packet and I will likely have to try different ways of getting it to overwinter like you are.

      It's actually quite funny. With a name like Siberian, you would think it would overwinter - especially in your climate - with no problem! Good luck with your efforts!

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  7. I too love Mei Qing Choi and it performs well for me. Will have another 2 days of nice weather then the temp will drop going to be a frigid weekend and snow was mentioned, hoping the weather person is wrong.

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    1. You know, the weather people are often wrong. Unfortunately, most of the time it's when they are forecasting weather that you actually want ;)

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  8. Your bunching onions look like what I call my green onions. I have mine in a pot and wonder if I leave them in if I will get more next spring. Your Choi looks great and also your Kale! Looks like you are not wasting a thing! We are to get colder like you too! Nancy

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    1. There are lots of names for them - bunching onion, green onion, scallion - all the same thing. I don't know whether your green onions will make it to spring - I think that "normal" (i.e. not perennial) green onions may not make it through the winter. But you never know & nothing to lose by leaving one or two in the pot.

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  9. Hey, you had another good week. Your temps are quite a bit lower than over here. Not really had a frost yet that I know of (in Norwich anyway) though I think that's unusual. Not thought of blanching kale before, I haven't got that much this winter but worth remembering for the future. Hoping to get down the plot tomorrow to sow broad beans.

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    1. It looks like we are around 5-6C colder in the winter and 5-6C hotter in the summer than Norwich - I'm thinking that the ocean has a really nice moderating effect on your climate. So you sow beans now for harvest next year? Do they not rot in the cold soil over the winter?

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    2. Ah that's interesting with the temperatures. Yes, you're probably right about the ocean. On the downside, we have the North sea all around us in Norfolk which can get really cold winds coming across from northern Europe if it's blowing in that direction (we also get intersting birds and other wildlife that get blown across) but generally we get South westerlies coming across the antlantic.
      The beans are aqua dulce a special variety for autumn planting, they usually grow a little bit before Christmas then kind of just hang around til spring having had a head start in the autumn. I think with really soggy soil they'd struggle or if a really bad winter but on the whole they're quite dependable. I might cover them over when they pop up (if I ever get chance to sow them) to keep the worst of the winter off, though Ive got quit a few things I'd ideally like to cover and don't have that much material. I use old net curtains to cover things as well as proper mesh.

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