Monday, November 16, 2015

Harvest Monday - November 16, 2015


Only a few harvests in my basket this week, the first of which was another picking of mizuna plus the largest (which isn't very large at all) of the Kolibri kohlrabi:

Mizuna and Kolibri kohlrabi

And now for what really surprised me - the kohlrabi.  It was delicious!  I first grew Early White Vienna last fall and I found the taste a bit too cabbagy when raw, although roasted, it was quite good.  Having never tried kohlrabi before, I just assumed that this is what it tasted like in general.  You would think I would know better than to judge a vegetable based on one variety - after all, everything from carrots to tomatoes to kale can taste quite different depending on the variety grown.

When I first tasted the Kolibri, I wasn't expecting any difference, but wow!  It was crisp and so sweet with only a touch of cabbage flavour.  It really blew my socks off.  Now, if only the other plants would size up - with a cold front moving in later this week, I'm not holding out much hope.  I have a feeling that this guy will be be biggest of the bunch.

I harvested a couple more tatsoi:

Tatsoi
 
When I harvested the mizuna, I noticed a few more tatsoi that had been hiding under the foliage, so my harvests for that one are not yet done.

We have almost used up the napa cabbages from the farm (those things are HUGE - 4 leaves and I have coleslaw for 4 people!), so I went out and picked a big basket of lettuce:

Variety of lettuce
 
A peak under the Agribon reveals that the lettuce is enjoying it's bit of protection, especially from the wind (although my covers are a bit worse for wear!):

Lettuce Bed
 
Some of the varieties are getting a bit tall - a sign that they are getting ready to bolt.  I hadn't thought this would be an issue with our cool weather, but the big temperature swings we had recently may be a factor.  The leaves are not bitter yet, but the Royal Red variety is on the verge.

I also harvested a few perennial bunching onions:

Perennial Bunching Onions
 
The large one on the right is an Evergreen Bunching while the others are Nebuka.  If you look at the one in the middle, that is what they look like when they just start to divide - there was one leaf surrounding those two which I peeled back.  The one on the left looks to be the average size once they fully divide, which is the perfect size for my needs.  With the freezes and frosts we've had, the green onion tops are not at their best, but the light green & white parts are still perfect.

And lastly, I had another big picking of cilantro:

Last picking of cilantro
 
I didn't quite expect the fall sowing of cilantro to be as productive as it has been.  I have no doubt that our lovely fall weather was a big contributing factor.  Regardless, successes like this make experimentation so exciting - it totally makes up for the many failures!

Last year at this time I picked the last of the harvests for the season.  Unlike our unusually mild temperatures this fall, last year was the opposite - unusually cold.  In fact, we had our first big snowstorm on November 17:

November 17, 2014
 
In comparison, this is what the backyard looked like this morning:

November 16, 2015
 
Average temps for this time of year are 6C (43F).  Last year, we were having -8C (18F) temps for days on end whereas this year, we have been over 10C (50F) most days.  Talk about not being predictable!

By the end of the week, however, things will be getting much colder - in the low single digits.  Each year the weather seems to surprise me in one way or another which, I suppose, is the new normal.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Greens – 1,178 grams (2.60 lbs)
Kohlrabi – 116 grams (0.26 lbs)
Lettuce – 612 grams (1.35 lbs)
Bunching Onions – 160 grams (0.35 lbs)
Cilantro – 228 grams (0.50 lbs)

Total for Week – 2,294 grams (5.06 lbs)

Total to Date – 210 kg (463 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is 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

28 comments:

  1. Another nice harvest. It's been very mild here so far this autumn too but we're set for cooler temperatures towards the end of the week. Snow's even been mentioned, I'm just hoping that we avoid it.

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    1. We too have been told there is a possibility of snow later this week - so strange that we are so far apart yet sometimes our weather is so similar!

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  2. But that tatsoi looks really interesting like a large green flower.
    We haven't grown and me kohlabi four years maybe we should have a go again as lots of people seem to be growing it now.

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    1. I always used to admire how pretty tatsoi was when others grew it; don't quite know why it's taken me so long to give it a try. And you're right, kohlrabi seems to be much more popular now than in the past.

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  3. Every thing looks so good. Yummy, yummy, yummy fall vegetables. You've been very successful with them. I have read about fall vegetables but it is always much too hot here in fall to start them and then they bolt about five inches high. Yours are awesome: Kohlrabi not croquet balls like I find in the store, cilantro ready for my tacos in the fall.

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    1. Thanks Jane! The grass is always greener, right? In the north, we often think those in warmer climates have it made when it comes to gardening - we forget that too hot can be just as limiting as too cold...well, not quite, but almost ;)

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  4. I remember that snow from last year - we had it too! I have found the kohlrabies I grow to be pretty mild in flavor, esp. Kolibri. Mine seem to size up better in spring, though perhaps I just need to get them out earlier in fall. You have some lovely greens there, and congrats on pushing the season in your garden!

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    1. Thanks Dave - I'll definitely be growing Kolibri in the spring instead of Early Vienna. I'm still at the early stages of figuring out what veg do better in the spring vs. fall and vice versa, so it will be interesting to see if I get bigger bulbs then.

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  5. Ugh, don't remind me of last winter. :) Your tatsoi always looks SO beautiful! But I'm still not sure I'd like it. Great review of the kohlrabi, you've got me convinced to try that variety next year! I can't believe I received a seed catalog today - Stokes! Seems so early, but I can't wait to start reading it.

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    1. Yes, last winter was brutal, wasn't it. I think they said this was going to be a milder winter - so far so good on that front. Maybe I'll even get my parsley to overwinter and give me a few leaves before the spring sown ones size up.

      You definitely should add Kolibri to your list - it's a taste winner! And got my Stokes catalogue too - I'm all for ordering online, but there's just something about a paper catalogue, if you know what I mean (which I'm sure you do!).

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  6. Hi Margaret, What a great harvest you still have. Makes me wish I would have tried to keep a few things going! Envious of all that nice lettuce! Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - it's been a while since we had lettuce on our plates and it's wonderful! Hopefully the weather will hold out and we are able to stretch the harvest for a few more weeks.

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  7. I wish I had some of that lettuce, our extra warm fall weather got mine bolting in record time. I've still got some lingering "summer" vegetables, it's actually pretty weird to be harvesting summer squash in November, but that could change overnight. We've had lows in the high 30°F lately so just a few degrees lower and "summer" is over. You did have a brutal winter last year. I'm not sure what is worse - too cold and snowy or too warm and dry, at least I was comfortable in my shorts and tees, but the dead landscape has been scary.

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    1. We had a long lettuce hiatus in the garden as well & it's so nice to once again have a big bowl of it in the fridge. It think it's such an underrated vegetable - even I didn't give it much thought until I started to grow it. I'm hoping to be a bit better at succession planting next year, although I tend to say that every year!

      And your basket overflowing with Tromba squash was so impressive - I love it when the garden surprises us with harvests that last much longer than anticipated.

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  8. Beautiful beautiful lettuces! You've encouraged me to the point that NEXT YEAR (oh, the gardeners FAVORITE mantra!!) I shall definitely try a fall garden. We have been running much above normal as well, but it looks like that will be ending soon. I guess that's one thing about gardening---the challenges AND surprises it always brings. Have a wonderful week, Margaret.

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    1. Thanks Sue! I keep getting pulled in 2 directions - keep the garden going a while longer or rip everything up and clean up the beds so that I can concentrate on other things...both have it's advantages! I guess I'm letting the weather take the lead on that one. Tomorrow will be our last warm day before some cold weather rolls through and I plan to take full advantage!

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  9. What a lovely harvest! I am growing kohlrabi for the first time. I have never tried it that I can remember either. I hope that the ones I harvest eventually (if all works out) are as sweet and delicious as yours.

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    1. Thanks Audrey! The kohlrabi was definitely a pleasant surprise...which are the best sort of surprises in the garden! Good luck with your kohlrabi - I'll be interested to hear what you think of it when you eventually try it.

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  10. I had a bad experience with "excessively cabbagey" Kohlrabi this year. I grew the purple variety Modrava and it was very strong, and it has put me off Kohlrabi altogether. Your lettuce looks very nice though. Hopefully nice and sweet!

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    1. Yes the lettuce is lovely & we have been enjoying salads once again! At the farm I volunteer at, they grew this huge - and I mean the size of your head - kohlrabi that is just as crisp, tender & sweet as the Kolibri. They cut one up today for a snack and I couldn't stop eating it...and then took one home & had some more! Next time I'm there I'll definitely have to find out what variety it is.

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  11. That's a great picture of the lettuce bed. The plants just *look* cozy and protected.

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    1. Thanks - I hope the Agribon holds up, it's supposed to be another windy day today!

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  12. I do not wish to remember the last 2 winters, they were just brutal, hoping this one will be a mild one. I love kolibri and decided from now on to grow only that variety, taste good and looks pretty in the garden.

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    1. Yes, they were much too long and much too cold. We (and the garden) deserve a break! I'll by growing Kolibri again in the spring - it will be interesting to see if it sizes up better then.

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  13. Fascinating to see the year-to-year comparison. I hope your winter, overall, is a little milder this year--I think you mentioned last winter was rather brutal? I can't believe how much produce you're still harvesting. That's wonderful! Enjoy!

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    1. Records all over the place were broken last year with the super cold winter temps (-40C/-40F!) & we even had a couple of school closures solely because it was too cold - something we had never experienced before. This winter they are predicting a mild December, but cold January/February, even with the El Nino - not as cold as last year though. I enjoy winter & winter activities, but -40 is a bit much!

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  14. Your greens look so appealing, wish I had done another planting. The lettuce I had in a container has bolted after the freeze we had. Hopefully your kohlrabi persists. I found that mine really did not like the freeze and the foliage died, while the Napa and Choi was unaffected.

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    1. I'll be harvesting another batch of lettuce this weekend to try and stay ahead of any that are about to bolt. Good thing that it lasts so long in the fridge (unlike the stuff from the grocery store).

      So far so good on the kohlrabi, although our temps are now quite low, so I doubt I'll get much more size on them. We've had a couple of -5C/23F freezes and the Kolribi sailed through them without any protection - I'm thinking it's all down to the variety (as is the taste, obviously!).

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