Monday, June 29, 2015

Harvest Monday - June 29, 2015


Rain, rain and more rain – that pretty much covers what’s been happening in the last couple of days.
And rain is good…until it’s too much.

When is it too much?  When I harvest my cherries and realize that most of them have split, that’s when:

Some may be cracked but still yummy!
 
But they were still so good!  I trimmed off any split parts & we chowed down.  It’s funny but the amount of cherries seemed so much larger when they were hanging from the tree.  I think I harvested approximately 1,000 grams or so (just over 2 lbs).  I say “think” because I didn’t have my notebook handy so I wrote the weight on a slip of paper – of course, it is nowhere to be found now.  Overall, we harvested around the same amount, give or take, as our first ever harvest, 2 years ago of 1,053 grams (2.32 lbs).

But even with the cracking, there was some good news – in 2013, 1/3 of the total cherry harvest (around 350 grams) was infested with the plum curculio.  This time round, I didn’t see any evidence of them.  Surprisingly, other than making sure to pick up any fallen or damaged cherries around the tree (which is usually the first bit of advice that is given), I didn’t really do anything to prevent them.

What else is new?  How about some amazing lettuce…finally!

Royal Red & Sierra MI Lettuce
 
Almost one month later than my harvest last year, but better late than never.  No more store-bought lettuce for us until late fall.   Hopefully.

And that’s not all – I harvested a couple of bunches of the mizuna.  First ever harvest on that one.  Although I’ll be using some fresh in a couple of stir fry’s this week, most of it will be blanched and frozen.

Mizuna
 
Am I done?  Not yet!  I harvested the first of the Aspabroc.  And messed up in the process.  This is what I harvested:

Aspabroc
 
What I should have done is read my notes on harvesting before I went at this one with my clippers.  You are supposed to harvest only the top florette and then the rest of the stalk will continue to develop side shoots…oops.

Of course, I also harvested the thickest of the stalks which likely would have produced the nicest side shoots.  Oh well, at least it was delicious (although it really didn’t taste like asparagus to me).  I peeled the lower portion of the stalk before cooking as it was a bit fibrous, but otherwise, it was very tender.

And just when you thought I was done, I also harvested some sugar snaps!

First Handful of Sugar Snaps
 
Not many, just a few are ready right now – and those were gone within a couple of minutes of taking the photo.  What a treat they are!

And lastly, I also harvested more tatsoi, strawberries & scapes.

Tatsoi
 

Strawberries & Scapes
 
The Fort Laramie strawberries are looking much better now.  Very few are misshaped and most are a fairly good size.  I'm even more convinced now that those issues with the first flush of berries were due to blossom damage caused by one of our late frosts.

I’m making an effort to freeze some of the strawberries we are harvesting now.  I really enjoy having them during the winter – on ice cream, with granola and yoghurt & in smoothies.  When I open up a packet in January, the fragrance is just unbelievable.  I don’t mind forgoing some fresh strawberries now in order to get that mid-winter pick me up.

And a little update on my mystery bean muncher – the culprit was caught in the act as I was putting up the trellis on Thursday:

Bean Munching Slug
 
My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 330 grams (0.73 lbs)
Cherries – 1,000 grams (2.2 lbs) (approx.)
Chinese Greens – 1,902 grams (4.19 lbs)
Lettuce – 222 grams (0.49 lbs)
Peas – 102 grams (0.22 lbs)
Scapes – 218 grams (0.48 lbs)
Strawberries – 1,362 grams (3 lbs)

Total for Week – 5,136 grams (11.32 lbs)

Total to Date – 17.82 kg (39.29 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

34 comments:

  1. A wonderful harvest. I agree about freezing things for use in winter, it's like opening your own little bit of sunshine when you get them out to use.

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    1. Thank you Jo - and what a great comparison!

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  2. Yuck on the slugs. I have seen them climb up my tomato vines and eat on the leaves and the tomatoes. You have a lovely selection of goodies coming in now. And your cherry harvest was bigger than ours. I do hope our trees grow up someday, before I get too old to enjoy them!

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    1. Yuck is right - I haven't seen them eating my tomato plants yet, but I don't think I ever saw them eating my beans before either. And my cherry harvest was bigger than yours? Considering how much you harvest on every front, that has got to be a first!

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  3. Lovely harvests this week! I love Mizuna but always seem to forget to plant it. Those cherries look delicious!

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    1. Thanks Rachel - I've never grown mizuna before, so I was thrilled with this first harvest!

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  4. OK, there is one definite advantage to drought, I can't remember the last time I saw a slug or non-native snail.

    Try a bit of that mizuna while it's young in a salad, it adds a nice mild mustardy bite. I grow a purple one to use almost exclusively in my mixed salads because it's so pretty. Which reminds me, I need to get more growing.

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    1. I will definitely do that - I'm determined to make more mixed salads this year, especially for my lunches. With the various likes & dislikes in my family, it's a bit tricky making one that everyone likes that has anything more than lettuce and tomato in it!

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  5. I'm glad you finally have some salad - it was a long time coming for me too this year. And oy, more rain on the way tomorrow and/or Wed for us ...

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    1. I'm watching the weather constantly lately - well, more than usual anyhow. I really hope we don't have a repeat of last years cool, wet summer.

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  6. Bad, bad slug! Your harvests look great. I haven't seen mizuna or tatsoi for a while now. I do miss them. But for me they are my early spring vegetables. And sometimes fall. It must be nice to have cherries. Sometimes I regret not planting any, but mostly I'm happy with what I have.

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    1. But while you were swimming in greens in the spring, I was only dreaming of them! I still don't know how early in the spring I can get things going and this year was a write off in that regard, so I'm hoping to experiment with earlier timing next year.

      The cherries were amazing; the less you have of something the more you savour it, that's for sure!

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  7. What a lovely harvest! I've never heard of Aspabroc. I'll have to look it up. And those cherries look so good! We had a warm winter followed by a very late very hard frost that killed a lot of our stone fruit in the area - - a lot of people lost entire trees but we just lost the fruit.

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    1. We also had similar severe winter weather and at least two late frosts this year - I was so surprised when both the cherry and plum flowered as I was certain we were going to have another fruitless year like last year.

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  8. I'm drooling over your strawberries and cherries, the tatsoi and mizuna look lovely, those are my fall crops, they don't do well in spring here.

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    1. I'm still trying to figure out what does and doesn't do well here at different times of year. My spring plantings seem to do better than my fall, but I think that may be because I always do the fall sowings too late & they don't have time to mature before the cold weather sets in.

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  9. That is a big slug. No wonder it did so much damage. You harvested lots of good things. Nice to have fresh salad greens. I second Michelle, I would add some mizuna to the salad bowl.

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    1. It is wonderful to finally have fresh greens - I really missed them and am kicking myself (as usual) for not having sown them sooner, especially the lettuce. Now if I can only figure out the succession plantings...

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  10. What an excellent harvest! We've been battered by so much wind and changeable weather we're a bit far behind, but we're getting there.

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    1. I've been behind all spring, so I can empathize! I hope that your weather settles down a bit & you are able to catch up soon.

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  11. Glad you got cherries...they look great! And that tatsoi! You make me want to try it next year.

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    1. This was my first time growing and eating tatsoi & it was great! It's definitely worth a try.

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  12. Great harvest.. and so many cherries, lovely. We have a cherry tree, it is now 3 years old. We got one cherry the first year and 2 last year... there were obviously more but the birds got them first..lol Be interesting to see how many we manage to get before the birds this year.. :o)

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    1. Ah, the birds. We netted the tree & it was quite a pain to do as the tree is much taller than it was 2 years ago when we had our first harvest (even though it is supposed to be a dwarf or semi-dwarf). I think that I will likely prune the tree a bit at some point to make it easier to net and harvest.

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  13. Your springs harvests are still looking great. I did the same as you, I picked my side shoots way too long. Didn't think about till I started cutting, at least it was only one plant.

    Slugs eating bean plants. Yuck. I've seen them eating ripe tomatoes that had split open in the rain. Double yuck.

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    1. I still have some aspabroc plants left and I'm not making that mistake again. Hopefully I get at least a few good side shoots from them.

      Yup - slugs on split tomatoes are much worse than slugs on bean plants...must be the goo factor ;)

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  14. Split cherries are definitely better than no cherries at all.

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  15. Hi Margaret, Nice harvest! Great to have our own lettuce for awhile! My sugar peas are done but yours look yummy and too bad about your oops on the Aspabroc! My dwarf sweet cherry trees did not have a single cherry this year! Nancy

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    1. That's too bad about your cherry tree - I didn't get any cherries last year, so I know how disappointing that is. I think the last frost got to them, but I know there were a couple of late frosts this year too. I'm thinking that it probably has to do with what stage the flowers are at when it hits.

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  16. Those cherries are big, there's a cherry tree in the plot next to mine that was grown from a pip. The cherries are small but brightly coloured, unfortunately they're very bitter ( I nibbled one yesterday that had fallen on my side) but the birds like them. It shades my strawb patch in the morning which actually makes it nice to pick the strawbs on a too-sunny day.
    Aargh, I hate those slugs, I have lost a lot of squash and bean plants to slugs n snails this year. It's quite satisfying when you do catch them in the act and discover the culprit though!

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    1. Very true Lou - there is nothing worse than losing plants and having no idea who is to blame. Rabbits? Squirrels? Earwigs? Slugs? Something else that you have not even discovered yet? At least when you know who you are up against & you can do something about it (or try to anyhow!).

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  17. Boo on those slugs!!! But they always show up with plenty of rain--whichi is a mixed blessing, ,isn't it!!

    I'm loving all your harvests and am very much coveting those snap peas. Oh---they are my favorite for "in-garden" munching!!! I don't believe a single one has ever made it up to the house. Hubby asked why I don't grow them if I love them so. Silly man!! He should wander out to the garden once in awhile and see all he is missing. Snicker!!!
    Have a wonderful time munching all those goodies!!

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    1. You are so right, rain is such a mixed blessing...dragging around a hose is one of my least favourite jobs. Now if it would only come in the mornings, for one hour or so, every 3 or 4 days, my life would be a lot easier!

      I'm thinking that I may try a succession planting of the sugar snaps next year - not sure if it would work with all the heat we (normally) get, but I think it's worth a try...a few short weeks of sugar snaps is far too little! I hope your husband doesn't read your blog - he'll find out all of your delicious secrets!

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