Monday, June 15, 2015

Harvest Monday - June 15, 2015


Having missed Harvest Monday last week, I have quite a few things to show today.

The most exciting harvest this past week was the turnips - that's right, I said turnips.  And that says a lot considering I also had my first strawberry harvest.  That's how incredibly good they were...boy have I been missing out!

White Lady Turnip
 
I pulled the four largest ones earlier last week and the rest about 5 days later.

First Turnip Harvest
 
 When I gave my husband a piece, the first word out of his mouth was "sweet".  It was so delicious!
 
I have only ever eaten the standard, storage type turnips you find in the grocery store.  These salad turnips were a revelation!  And then there were the turnip greens.  They were wonderful too - very mild & tender.  Two (delicious) harvests for the price of one - you have to love that!
 
The yield was another surprise.  The 4 turnips in the above photo gave me 664 grams of turnips PLUS 680 grams of turnip greens.  And even though the turnips were quite large, they were extremely tender with absolutely no sign of woodiness.
 
White Lady Turnip - The Inside View
 
The second most exciting harvest was the first strawberries of the season - hurray!  I have two varieties growing and Fort Laramie was the first to ripen.  The harvest will likely start on the other (unknown) variety at some point this week.
 
Fort Laramie Strawberries
 
Once again, just like last year, most of the Fort Laramie strawberries are rather small & quite a few are misshapen.  As well, many didn't seem to ripen evenly - the strawberry would be perfectly ripe, except for the tip.
 
Oddly shaped strawberry and his friend with an unripe tip
 
I also harvested the White Vienna kohlrabi.  I had some issues with brassica germination this year - I think I had planned on growing 9 kohlrabi, but only ended up with 3.

White Lady Turnips & White Vienna Kohlrabi
 
As you can see, White Vienna doesn't get very large.  Their skin is also quite tough, so by the time you peel it, you are not left with much to eat.  I'm looking forward to trying the Kolibri variety next - they are supposed to get huge.

I also harvested the rapini - I tried to direct seed them this time round, and they just didn't do very well.

Sorrento Rapini
As you can see, some of them were bolting by the time I harvested them
 
About half of seeds didn't come up at all and those that did, were not as lush as I remember from last year.  Maybe it was the hot, dry May weather.  I'll be planting some more soon, but this time I'll use transplants.

Some of the spinach was also starting to bolt.  I picked the last of the Viroflay & pulled the plants.  The Tyee, Renegade & Space plants (which aren't actually bolting yet, but may be on the verge) were left in the ground to see if I could get another crop of leaves from them.

Tyee (left); Viroflay (right)

Renegade (left); Space (right)
 
I quite like the Renegade spinach - it seems to be a heavy producer & looks like it may be slow to bolt as well.  Unfortunately, it was also the most difficult of the bunch to germinate.  Last year I had the same issues with Viroflay, and my problems were solved when I purchased the seed from a different supplier this year.  Maybe the Renegade seed (and not the variety itself) is the problem.

And lastly, I also had a second  & third harvest of radishes:

My daughter doesn't like eating radishes,
but she certainly doesn't mind harvesting them!
 
Last harvest of spring planted radishes
 
You'll notice the two White Icicle radishes in the above photo - one is a good size, the other is just barely adequate.  All of the other radish varieties I planted (Cherry Belle, Easter Egg & French Breakfast) produced a great crop - every seedling bulbed up.

Cherry Belle Radish
 
Out of the 7 White Icicle seeds I planted, those were the only two harvestable roots.  All of the others looked like this:

White Icicle Radish Duds
 
Their flavour is essentially the same as the other varieties I grew, so I've decided to throw the rest of the seeds into my discard pile.

My harvest totals this week were:

Kohlrabi – 304 grams (0.67 lbs)
Radishes - 474 grams (1.04 lbs)
Rapini - 196 grams (0.43)
Spinach - 1,094 grams (2.41 lbs)
Strawberries - 420 grams (0.93 lbs)
Turnips - 1,670 grams (3.68 lbs)
Turnip Greens - 1,458 grams (3.21 lbs)

Total for Week – 5,616 grams (12.38 lbs)

2015 Total to Date – 7.39 kg (16.29 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

33 comments:

  1. Fantastic harvests, they're coming thick and fast now. I've only grown turnips once and I wasn't very keen on them, perhaps I should grow them again and try eating them a different way. I do like swede though so perhaps I would like normal turnips if I tried them a different way.

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    1. The ones I grew are salad turnips. I have only ever had the regular, storage type turnips before (their skin is usually a purplish colour on the top half of the bulb). It's been some time since I've eaten them, but from what I can recall of their taste, these salad ones are much milder, sweeter & more tender. Definitely worth a try, even if only in a corner of the bed.

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  2. Lovely looking turnips ... I'm happy they turned out so sweet for you! It is such fun to see what is happening far, far to the north of me at 34 degree latitude. Even though, things start later, they grow so much faster up there because of the longer days.

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    1. Thank you Jane - I've been noticing the speed at which we get harvests here as well. It seems to go from nothing to full speed ahead in a relatively short period of time.

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  3. Your turnips are bigger than your kohlrabi. So unusual. I've never let my salad turnips get that big. I've had one about 3" before but that was a good as it got. And yours look so pretty compared to some of mine. Luckily the root maggots only got some of them and not most.

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    1. I actually didn't let them get large on purpose - I was just too busy to harvest them and next thing you know, they were huge! When I pulled the largest ones and realized how sweet & tender they were, I left the rest to bulk up a bit more for a few days. It could be the variety as well - I've just sown a different variety called "Just Right" that supposedly makes a good summer/fall turnip (and it also takes longer to mature, at 60 days). We'll see how that one does. I don't think I have root maggots (yet!), but the brassica bed where the turnips were is covered, so maybe that's why.

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  4. I noticed White Icicle grows better in the fall for me when the weather is more consistently cooler without the springtime ups and downs. They actually get huge in the fall, like the size of daikon radishes. When I grew them in the spring they tended to bolt, but I have to say they're seed pods are tasty in stir-fries.

    Your spring harvests are looking magnificent. The salad turnips sound wonderful. And that looks like quite a lot of strawberries for just the first picking.

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    1. Thanks Phuong! This is my third year trying to get some good White Icicle radish roots so I really do feel like just giving up. But maybe a fall attempt will be worth it...just to see if there is any difference.

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  5. The turnips are amazing. I've not seen an oriental turnip get that big. I have grown Tokyo Cross and Hakurei and usually harvest them at 1-2 inches. Problem here is the root maggots (and the flea beetles).

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    1. I really didn't do that much reading up on harvesting turnips - had I done so, I likely would have made an effort to get them out of the ground sooner. I guess sometimes it pays to not really know what you are doing ;)

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  6. Very nice harvest! I love the taste of turnips but hate smell :( so i don't bother growing them.

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    1. These don't have any smell at all, really - they are so mild! Maybe someone you know grows them and you can test them out just to see.

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  7. I love the salad turnips too. Some of mine get big like that, Hakurei is one that comes to mind. It's almost like a different vegetable compared to the purple top one. And the greens are milder and more tender too! I'm a big fan of the Kolibri too. I'm working on a spotlight post on them.

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    1. They really are like a different vegetable, aren't they? I guess that's why I was so surprised! Can't wait to read your Kolibri post - I'm sure I will learn a LOT, as usual ;)

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  8. Your description makes me want to try those turnips next year. I never grow the Vienna kohlrabi. A few years ago I grew White Vienna alongside Grand Duke, an F1 hybrid. The Grand Duke was consistently more than a week earlier, larger and better quality and flavor. Same with Kolibri, which except for the striking color is the same quality.

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    1. Vienna is the only one I've grown (& eaten) so far & maybe that's why I'm not that impressed with kohlrabi overall. I'm looking forward to trying the Kolibri - from what you are saying, chances are good that I'll have better results with that one.

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  9. Those salad turnips are a revelation if all you've ever had are storage turnips. I grew my first ones last year and I had the same reaction as your husband - sweet! I notice that the vegetables grow like mad at this time of the year here, it must be crazy mad at your latitude.

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    1. It's good to know that I'm not the only one that had a turnip revelation. Sometimes I feel as if everyone knows this stuff but me! The garden is really growing by leaps and bounds now (well, most of it, anyhow). I've had to extend the covering on the garlic bed using 4' rebar - which is a first. This is the first year where I've had to protect alliums from onion maggots and all my garlic was trying to break free of the netting.

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  10. Great harvest, I grow kolibri and love them, the purple skin is so pretty.

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    1. I can't wait to try them - hopefully I'll enjoy them more than the Vienna variety.

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  11. I hated turnips growing up ... but you make these "salad turnips" sound awfully tasty! Might try them some time (but not in a rush). Everyone seems to be harvesting kohlrabi lately and I've just got a bunch of leaves - think I might have a problem so I'll take a closer look in the next day or two. If you've got your strawbs now, mine must be coming in a week or so ... yay!

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    1. Oh and I forgot to mention the spinach - I'm growing Bloomsdale this year but already wish I'd grown Tyee as I did the past couple of years. Better texture and flavour in my opinion.

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    2. You really MUST try them - as I said to Jenny, maybe you can find someone that grows summer turnips or find them in a farmers market. I guarantee you will love them so much you will go searching for some seeds to sow!

      I do like the Tyee variety - I had considered Bloomsdale, but the leaves seemed a bit too savoyed & I usually like the smoother varieties more (although Tyee is a bit more savoyed than the other varieties I grew). Hope you get those first strawberries very soon!

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  12. Yum! Your produce is so perfectly shaped. I think I might have told you that my garden is quite shady, so I only grow a few veggies. But we have a vegetable share from a local farmer, and white salad turnips, kohlrabi, strawberries, radishes, and spinach were among the crops they delivered this week! So, it appears our parts of the world are on roughly the same schedule currently. Enjoy your fresh, organic produce!

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    1. Thank you Beth! With a shady garden you must be able to grow fantastic salad greens all summer long. I sowed my lettuce about a month late this year & am now craving all of the lovely salad greens I see in everyone else's garden!

      I think the next best thing to growing your own veg is being part of a farm share (we call them CSA's - Community Supported Agriculture). Beautifully fresh, local food and quite the variety as well. The weather around here appears to be turning & hopefully it's the same on your end - Have a great week!

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  13. We've just netted out strawberries in anticipation

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    1. Hopefully you'll have fresh berries on your plate soon!

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  14. Your harvest report is so typical of all our efforts - some good results (excellent turnips!), and some disappointments. Radishes are surprisingly difficult to get right. I find that they don't do well when the weather gets hot and the soil drys out.

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    1. Isn't that the truth - and I always chuckle when it comes to radishes. So easy that they are one of the first seeds children are given to grow yet I struggled with them for 2 years! Our weather has stayed relatively mild and wet lately, so I've sown another round - we'll see if I have similar results this time round.

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  15. The roots look so good on the inside--you sure you didn't photoshop them :). I wish my radishes were still going.

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    1. Not unless you count cropping! And the lighting in my kitchen is horrible, so that really is a compliment ;)

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  16. I don't think I've ever eaten a turnip. The ones at the stores here are purple and white. But what a wonderful harvest! I agree with your daughter since I don't like radishes, either. But my grandmothers dog was nuts for them so I always gave her mine. :o)

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    1. The purple and white ones have a much sharper taste than the salad ones I grew - it was quite a surprise when I tasted how sweet they were with no sharpness at all! Radishes can be quite spicy and I know a lot of people that aren't exactly fond of them; my kids often wish we had a dog lounging under the table to pass their less than favourite foods too ;)

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