Monday, July 20, 2015

Harvest Monday - July 20, 2015


There was one very pretty newcomer to the harvest basket this past week – Peppermint Swiss chard:

Peppermint Chard (left); Fordhook Giant (right)
 
The stems are so pretty - I wonder if the electric pink will entice my daughter to try it?

So pretty I had to take a closeup
 
The netting has done a great job of keeping the leaf miners out, but the slugs still managed to get a few nibbles in.

Originally, I had several more seedlings but all of the Bright Lights variety damped off.  Now that the spinach is done, I’m going to reseed that spot with Bright Lights & hopefully I’ll get to see some of those colourful stems before winter sets in.

Also harvested this week were the 2nd round of radishes.

French Breakfast & Scarlet Globe Radishes
 
These are nowhere near as large & nice as the spring sown radishes – I think I’ll stick to the spring sowing from now on & I may try a sowing in late August/early September as well.

Of course, there were lots and LOTS of sugar snaps as well as a few more favas:

Fava Beans & Sugar Snap Peas
 
The sugar snaps are almost at an end as I don’t see many flowers left.  I will likely harvest a few more pods, but then leave the rest to dry for seed.

The cucumbers are trickling in.  I harvested the first Chelsea Prize & another Corentine (this time it was the shape it is supposed to be):

Chelsea Prize (left); Corentine (right)
 
Another big lettuce harvest to replenish the refrigerator:

Royal Red, Simpson Elite & Sierra MI Lettuce
 
We have been having a heat wave in the last few days with the humidex reaching 40C/104F!  All of the Ruby Red & most of the Simpson Elite are now starting to bolt so these will be pulled today.

The very last of the strawberries:

Last Strawberry Picking
 
These went straight from bowl to mouth & missed the scale altogether.

Also harvested but not photographed was some chamomile.  The plants are loaded with flowers and I really should have harvested some more in the last couple of days, but couldn’t find the time.  I’ll be out there picking today.

That’s it for the week – I feel as if I’m in for a bit of a slow harvest period, although I do finally see some Contender beans developing.  With any lucky, I’ll be harvesting those within the week.

My harvest totals this week were:

Fava Beans (shelled) – 134 grams (0.30 lbs)
Cucumbers – 360 grams (0.79 lbs)
Lettuce – 702 grams (1.55 lbs)
Sugar Snap Peas – 1,954 grams (4.31 lbs)
Radishes – 50 grams (0.11 lbs)
Swiss Chard – 1,542 grams (3.40 lbs)
Chamomile – 20 grams (0.04 lbs)

Total for Week – 4,762 grams (10.50 lbs)

Total to Date – 31.07 kg (68.50 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

36 comments:

  1. Looking forward to our chard, never tried it before! Everything is so slow to grow up here!

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    1. We had a slow start this year, but things are going strong now - must be all this heat. Not so good for me or my lettuce, but the rest of the garden is sure enjoying it!

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  2. Oh yes, that peppermint chard is pretty. I've been growing unpretty chard for too long--next year, a rainbow. Are you sure it's safe to save seed for your peas, that they haven't cross-pollinated with another variety? I always wonder about that. Nice cukes and lettuce too.

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    1. Peas and beans are self-pollinating, so there is little chance of cross-pollination, even if you are growing several varieties. I have been saving peas and beans for several years now and have never had a problem - it's actually quite fun...you should give it a go!

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  3. Whew, too hot for me the last few days, I've finally turned on the air conditioning (I try to avoid using it most of the time). Beautiful chard, mine is just starting to come in. It must be nice to have the sweet crunch of the snap peas in this heat - I always pull mine too early.

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    1. Yeah, the heat is keeping me indoors, although I did have to do a bunch of stuff in the garden yesterday and had to come in almost every hour (for an hour!) to cool off. I, as usual, sowed my peas late again this year (what's new?), which I suppose accounts for the later than normal harvest.

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  4. The pink on the chard is a nice shade but the stripes make it even better, like a peppermint stick. Nice you are getting cucumbers. My lettuce is gone for now and it's too hot and humid to work in the garden the next few days. Maybe I'll start some more seeds.

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    1. You are so right - I think it's the stripes that really make this variety a standout. And it tastes great too, which is always a bonus (I guess that should be the other way around - taste should always come first!). I have to start some seeds too - I've been so lax about that this year.

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  5. I haven't heard of peppermint chard before but I've grown Bright Lights. A very nice harvest.

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    1. Thanks Jo - I think that the peppermint is rather new. Well, compared to Bright Lights anyhow, which I've heard about for a long time.

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  6. Those are really pretty stems. Do the leaves taste more like the white chard or the bright lights chard? Or can you not tell a difference? I'm so picky about my chard. I like the white kinds better, but the artist in me really wants to grow the colorful kind. So far my taste buds have won out on the argument.

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    1. I can't really say if they taste like the Bright Lights Chard as I've never grown or tasted that variety before - hopefully if I get some to grow for the fall I'll be able to tell. But what I can say is that I haven't noticed a big difference between it and the Fordhook Giant I'm growing. And the stems actually taste pretty good; they didn't taste beety to me at all. Or maybe it's just been so long since I've eaten beets that my inexperienced taste buds didn't pick up on it ;)

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  7. That looks like the Peppermint Stick chard that I've been growing. I love the stripes and the flavor. I think it tastes more like a white stemmed chard than the varieties with darker colors, both the stems and the leaves. It's about time for me to get my fall/winter round of chard started.

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    1. It is really good, isn't it? I hope I like the Bright Lights chard as much as that one is so pretty too. I always think it's such a shame when pretty veg don't live up to our expectations when it comes to taste. I would be so nice to be able to grow chard (or anything else for that matter) over the winter. I just purchased Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest book - it will make for some good winter reading & you never know. Maybe I'll be able to harvest something over the winter at some point too.

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  8. I'm curious how you prepare Peppermint swiss chard. Is it very minty tasting? I have been harvesting some monster Italian zucchini this year. They have been fabulous producers. Enjoy your harvest!

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    1. It does look (and sound) like it would taste minty, but it is all chard - no minty taste at all. I use chard in so many different ways and this past winter, I used it several times as a substitute for spinach (as I had chard in the freezer, but no spinach). It even worked amazingly well in a hot spinach dip I made - no one guessed that it was chard. Although if I had used the peppermint chard, I'm sure the bright pink would have tipped people off!

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  9. Nothing like a blast of heat to put an end to those spring vegetables. I always miss the peas and spinach during summer---just glad the spinach can be up and going in a month---a fall crop is doable (one of the few spring plants I can make a fall crop out of!)
    You have gorgeous harvests. Enjoy!!
    :)

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    1. Thanks Sue! I don't think I've had luck with spinach in the fall - although I haven't had much luck with it in the spring either. I should try a fall planting, just to see if it works out. I hope you are enjoying your harvests too - I'm sure you are hauling them in as we speak!

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  10. I think the peppermint chard is a bit milder that the other chards. You sure got a good snap peas harvest. We are having a heat wave too.

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    1. That may very well be the case - I haven't grown any other variety besides Fordhook Giant, which I wouldn't consider to be strong at all. Sadly, my sugar snap harvest is quickly coming to an end - but it's so good while it lasts.

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  11. What nice chard! Mine isn't covered and so a lot of the leaves are damaged. Next year!

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    1. That happened to me last year - It seems that each season more beds have to be netted for one reason or another, doesn't it?

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  12. That Chard looks perfect, and the Peppermint one is so pretty! I agree with you on the Radishes - Summer ones are not so good (very hard to get right).

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    1. Thanks Mark! Since climates & gardens can be so different, I do like to give things a try, even if they are not generally considered to grow successfully during that part of the season. You just never know.

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  13. Nothing keeps slugs at bay. Can I ask whether pea maggots are a problem with sugar snap peas, do you need to keep them covered?

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    1. I've never even heard of pea maggots, had to look that one up - yuck! Peas are actually one of the few crops that don't have any pest issues around here, so we don't need to cover them. Now let me go find some wood to knock on ;)

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  14. Swiss Chard is so pretty, but I'm not a big fan of it as an edible. The other day, though, I added some to a "Zuppa Toscana" soup, and it was OK (I prefer Kale in that recipe). But it's so gorgeous! You have an impressive harvest again this week!

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    1. Thanks Beth! You sound like me and beets - they look so pretty, especially the stripped ones, but I don't grow them as it is one of the few veg where I really don't like the taste - and that's really what it's all about.

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  15. That is some beautiful chard! I've tried hard to like the taste of it but I haven't yet succeeded. Too bad, as it is such a vigorous grower and a great green for summertime.

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    1. That is too bad. It really is an easy green, although my first year growing it was a total flop - it only grew a few inches tall!

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  16. Hi! Lovely harvest and beautiful chard. Does it taste like peppermint too? Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - no it doesn't taste like peppermint but just like regular chard...it's just prettier!

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  17. It all looks lovely Margaret, but I am mostly envying your salad crop. I missed out as the slugs savaged all mine. Your chard looks splendid too, I am hoping to harvest some come next week.

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    1. I sowed my lettuce so late this year that I think I missed out on at least a months worth, so I know what you mean. Thankfully the slugs haven't been too bad yet; they usually get worse as the season progresses & were rampant in the lettuce bed by August last year. Looking forward to seeing what you do with your chard!

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  18. Your spring crops are still going strong. It's amazing you still had lettuce at the end of July.

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    1. I'm still trying to figure out what the best varieties are, but I have found that some (Sierra MI - a Batavian is one of them) stand up to the summer heat fairly well. I also shade the lettuce bed with a double layer of Agribon, so I think that helps ward off the worst of the heat. Last year I was able to grow lettuce all summer long, but we'll have to see if they hold on this year as it's turning out to be a scorcher.

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