Monday, June 22, 2015

Harvest Monday - June 22, 2015


This is the final week of school for my kids, which is always a hectic time.  Even so, I have been able to do quite a lot of work in the garden & am finally getting around to mulching the paths in my main garden bed area.  I have so many different things on the go in the garden right now and have started a few update posts, but it's been difficult to find the time to finish them up.  I'll have to do a push this week to get at least one or two posted.

I also did a lot of harvesting over this past week & I’m so happy that the greens have finally started to flow.  No lettuce yet – I suppose I could have harvested some baby lettuce leaves, but I had plenty of other greens to tide us over, so I decided to leave them.  The harvest on those will start this coming week.

The first harvest of NCK came out of the garden this week.

Siberian Kale
 
The more I looked into it the more I’m convinced that this is a Siberian kale so I will be referring to it as such from here on in.  The seed packet had originally indicated it was curly kale, which it definitely is not (hence my Not Curly Kale acronym).

I also harvested quite a bit of Russian Kale:

Russian Kale
White Russian (left); Red Russian (right)
 
The White Russian continues to impress me – although quite plain, it definitely produces larger leaves than the Red Russian & is delicious…just a tiny bit more so than the Red Russian.  I do like the Red for its colour, however.  I’m thinking that the next time I grow them, I’ll do a bigger proportion of White to Red Russian.  The Russian kale is now in the fridge & I am using that fresh, while the Siberian kale has all been blanched and frozen.

Up next are the baby choy.  This variety is Green Fortune.

Green Fortune Baby Choy
 
Not overly impressive, is it?  I transplanted the seedings around the Siberian kale, thinking that they would mature long before the kale got large enough to shade them.  And I was wrong.  The kale grew much faster than I anticipated and within a couple of weeks, the baby choy was completely shaded by the flopping kale leaves.

I harvested about half of the choy, just barely enough for a meal.  My harvest would have been quite a bit larger had it not been for all of the chewed up leaves I had to remove.  And I think that this is the critter responsible:

Mystery Choy Muncher
Looks huge in the photo, but is only about 1/8" long
 
I have no idea what it is but I have been seeing them in the garden lately (sometimes they are bright green and other times a more muted greenish-beige) and there were quite a few of them on the baby choy (but oddly enough, not on any of the other brassicas or the Joi Choi).  Can someone enlighten me?

I also harvested the first of the tatsoi.  It was also a bit munched, but nowhere near as bad as the baby choy.  I actually think that their damage was most likely slug related.

Tatsoi
 
And another exciting harvest this past week was the garlic scapes.  Yum, yum, yum….

Garlic Scapes
 
And yes, I will be making Daphne’s dressing with them!

More strawberries came out of the garden.  Connie’s variety is just starting to produce – I kind of like the fact that I have an earlier bearing variety and one that starts a bit later.

Fort Laramie (left); Connie's (right)
 
I had commented last week that many of the Fort Laramie strawberries were small and/or oddly shaped.  What’s interesting is that I was hearing the same comments about the strawberries being harvested at the farm I volunteer at, which are a different variety.  I’m thinking that this may have been caused by one of the late frosts we had (damaging the early set of flowers) especially as the berries I harvested over this past week looked much better.

Also harvested this past week but not photographed was some spinach.  No sooner had I said that the existing plants looked ok, then they started to bolt.  I harvested and pulled all of the bolting plants and am now left with a couple of Space & Renegade plants that are still looking ok...I  know I'm jinxing things here ;)

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Greens – 294 grams (0.65 lbs)
Kale – 2,532 grams (5.58 lbs)
Scapes – 510 grams (1.12 lbs)
Spinach – 386 grams (0.85 lbs)
Strawberries – 1,576 grams (3.47 lbs)

Total for Week – 5,298 grams (11.68 lbs)

Total to Date – 12.69 kg (27.97 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

26 comments:

  1. Will - Eight Gate FarmJune 22, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Nice stuff rolling in, Margaret. Impressive kale weight, when you think it's mostly leaves. Love the scapes too.

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    1. Thanks Will - and to think that over 3 lbs of that was from the Siberian kale of which I only have 3 plants!

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  2. I might have to plant the white version of Russian kale next year. The purple is pretty though. I wish I could help you with your beetle, but I've never seen it before. Mine has been slowing down.

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    1. If they both looked the same, I would likely only plant the White Russian, but the purple is so pretty and the difference in taste is so slight, that I will definitely continue to grow it.

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  3. Very nice harvest! I'm very impressed that you're mulching the paths between your beds. That has been on my list for YEARS!

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    1. Oh, it has taken me a long time to get to this point and I have only just started. There are still many, many paths to trim and mulch...hopefully I can actually get to them all!

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  4. Can't say I've seen too many greenish beetles my way, but I'll be interested in what it is if someone identifies it for you. I've got white russian kale for the first time this year but it's not ready yet. I really enjoyed the red russian last year.

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    1. Oh, you will love the white Russian then - it is so delicious!

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  5. I'm clueless on your beetle too. It is amazing there's such a difference in the taste of different kale varieties, but there sure is. I need to compare White Russian with some of my other favorite kales and do a taste-off!

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    1. Kale is such a great crop - just keeps giving and giving all summer long. I've only ever grown the Russians and Siberian(?), so I would love to hear about your taste comparisons on other varieties.

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  6. Wow, your kids go late with school! Do they go back in August or September? Very impressive with the harvests! I have some baby kale in my tiny potager. And our local farm share lately has supplied us with more kale. I like it in Italian potato soup! Your strawberries are impressive!

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    1. Thanks Beth! I always thought our school year was pretty standard across North America and only recently found out that it isn't! For elementary schools, the summer break is only for July and August - they go back just after Labour day in September. Soup is definitely one of my favourite ways of eating kale - I freeze it in "soup pot" portions so that when I need it, I just have to plop a package of it into the soup straight from the freezer.

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  7. Nice kale and choy, despite the mystery bug (no clue). I don't grow the Russian kale because it has too much stem to leaf. I like my Siberian kale and this year added dinosaur kale.

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    1. I was thinking of growing the dinosaur kale - it seems to be so popular. But I heard (no idea from where) that it was very strong flavoured and tough, so haven't given it a go yet. I'll be interested to know what you think of it.

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  8. That's a lot of strawberries! I have no clue what that beetle could be. I've been wasting a fair amount of time lately on buggguide.net lately trying to figure out a couple of critters in my garden. I just wish I could figure out if they're good or bad, not that it would make much difference, I doubt there's anything I could do to get rid of them if they're bad, but it would be nice to cheer them on if they're good.

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    1. I just went on that website - what a great reference! I'll definitely be bookmarking it. I'll have to see if I can find my bug on it. I know what you mean about good vs. bad bugs - I wouldn't want to squish one of the good guys.

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  9. Great harvests, it's a wonderful time of year when there's plenty of home grown things to eat. Your schools break up earlier than ours, we've got another three or four weeks left yet but these last few weeks are always so busy.

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    1. Yes, the garden produce is starting to flow & it feels great to not have to rely on the produce aisle in the grocery store as much!

      It is one thing after another this week, it seems (and I'm not feeling well to boot, so that hasn't helped much either!). Can't wait until next week when we can finally take a deep breath and relax.

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  10. The big looks like some sort of weevil and could be responsible for those holes. How long a holiday do your school have?

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    1. I think you are right about the weevil - the only thing that threw me off was that when I looked up the one that looked like this, they said it feeds off of certain tree leaves with no mention of other types of plants. At least I know it's a bad bug so I don't feel guilty about getting rid of them.

      Our elementary school holidays last for 2 months - July & August. Everyone is really looking forward to them!

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  11. My dear husband doesn't like kale, and I have to incorporate it sparingly into bunny food, but I still plant it because it's so pretty. If I harvest small amounts, the family will tolerate it and even maybe enjoy.

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    1. Oh, that's too bad, especially considering how good it is for you! Well, at least you are able to sneak in a bit here and there - that's certainly better than nothing & you never know, they may end up really liking it after a while!

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  12. Impressive! Those strawberries look delicious. I only grow carrots and sweet potatoes. The carrots end up in cake and the sweet potatoes are served at Thanksgiving. :o)

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    1. Strawberries are a definite favourite around here! I'm trying sweet potatoes for the first time this year - I'm not sure if anything will come of it, especially if we have another unusually cool summer like last year.

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