Monday, June 13, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 13, 2016


You know what the best thing about growing your own is?  Every week there seems to be at least one new veg or fruit coming out of the garden.  And this past week, the newcomer was….

Fort Laramie strawberries
 
Yum!  This harvest actually snuck up on me – I’ve been so busy in the front garden (in fact, we even hired some help to deal with a couple of particularly bad areas), that I didn’t realize the strawberries were starting to ripen until late last week.

The strawberry bed is actually in pretty rough shape.  I didn’t bother to tidy it up this spring as I’m planning on ripping out all of the plants once it’s finished and I had other, more pressing tasks to attend to.  This will be its third year of production, so I would say it’s had a good run.  I’ll be starting a new bed later this season, but have not yet decided exactly where that will be.

But as one harvest starts, another inevitably comes to an end…

Spinach
Clockwise from the left:  Giant Noble, Space, Renegade, Tyee
 
Over half of the spinach started to bolt with our high temps over the past couple of weeks.  I picked everything I could and pulled the plants that were definitely kaput.  There are a few left in there that hadn’t started bolting quite yet, so I’ve left them to see if they give me a few more leaves before they too call it quits.

The lettuce is up to full production now – I’ll harvest a bunch of leaves one day and you can hardly tell by the next.  Thankfully the hot days have not impacted on it…yet.

Lettuce
Clockwise from the left:  Sierra MI, Royal Red, Sweetie Baby
 
As you can see, I’m harvesting all of the lettuce on a cut-and-come-again basis, my preferred method.  If I start to have issues keeping up with the harvest – which is very likely as it happens every year - I’ll stop picking from some of the romaines & harvest them as heads instead.

A few more turnips & their greens were harvested:

White Lady turnips
 
And a lot of kale:

White Russian kale

Red Ursa kale
 
This was my first time growing Red Ursa.  Although not as sweet as White Russian, it is incredibly tender.   I set quite a lot of it aside to incorporate into our salads.

My harvest totals this week were:

Kale – 998 grams (2.20 lbs)
Lettuce – 492 grams (1.08 lbs)
Spinach – 834 grams (1.84 lbs)
Turnips – 374 grams (0.82 lbs)
Turnip Greens – 502 grams (1.11 lbs)
Strawberries – 222 grams (0.49 lbs)

Total for Week – 3,422 grams (7.54 lbs)

Total to Date – 9.35 kg (20.61 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.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

28 comments:

  1. Yay for strawberries! Too bad about your spinach, it's such a challenging veggie for you, what you got looks great. Everything else looks perfect too.

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    1. Thanks Michelle...yup, it's goodbye to spinach until at least the fall. That's if I end up sowing some - things tend to get so busy by that point that many fall crops end up slipping through the cracks.

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  2. Yay for strawberries! I'm sure finding them was a pleasant surprise. Red Ursa was probably my favorite kale until I tried White Russian. I plan to grow them both this fall. Yours are both lovely.

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    1. A double thanks Dave as I'm fairly certain I first saw Red Ursa on your blog! I'll be doing a combo of White Russian & Red Ursa in our salad tonight...together with lettuce to appease the kids :)

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  3. Those strawberries sure look yummy and so pretty! My spinach is mostly gone too. Have a little of the later left but lots of lettuce! Can't seem to get on using much kale! Nancy

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    1. We tend to think that we HAVE to use everything that comes out of the garden right away, but I'm trying to remember that there are 5 months of the year with virtually no garden fresh produce other than storage veg. So even though it's June, I'm already starting to freeze some of the greens for winter. I've got a couple of packets of kale & one of spinach too. Not a lot so far, but each week I'll be adding a few packets so by fall, I'm hoping to be all set.

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  4. Strawberries and spinach, so it's time for a strawberry and spinach salad with a balsamic dressing. I still have some spinach coming but I may have to buy some local strawberries. Weird you are having hot weather while we are cool. There is supposedly some big high over Newfoundland causing our nice weather while everyone else bakes.

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    1. Our temps did come down towards the end of last week (not cool, but definitely more comfortable!) but unfortunately it was a bit too late for most of the spinach although there are a few plants that look to be holding on. I'm waiting to pull them as I may just get a bit more out of them.

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  5. Gorgeous strawberries, bet they were the sweetest. I had lots of strawberries on the plants starting to turn red, then they all disappeared, as you can guess I am not at all happy.

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    1. Thanks Norma - and you are right, they are so sweet! That's too bad about your strawberreis - I was very late putting up the netting this year & had I held off much longer, I likely would have been in the same boat.

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  6. Bad timing with our weather!! Just enough heat to get early plants bolting but now it's cooled off. Ugh. That is why we grow a variety - some things work well some years versus others.

    Beautiful strawberries ... and turnips already!? Nice.

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    1. I'll say - sometimes Mother Nature isn't very accomodating, is she? And as you say, while some crops peter out in the heat, others flourish, so you have to be thankful for that.

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  7. Ah, luscious strawberries and your gorgeous spinach and lettuce. It looks like you're harvests are coming along beautifully.

    I eye the cherry tomatoes and pole beans everyday.

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    1. It's great when the harvests from the garden go from a trickle to a steady pace. We had a fairly bad bean year last year, so I'm eyeing my beans too. They are not too far along yet, but at least I didn't have as many germination issues this time round.

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  8. We didn't dig up our old strawberry plants until we had a new bed planted and settled in for a year. We didn't really want to have a year without any strawberries at all.
    I hope this damp weather here doesn't spoil any fruits but I'm waiting to ripen as the plants have such a large number of berries.

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    1. In the past, we started the strawberry bed in mid-summer, after harvesting the garlic, and it gave us a fairly good harvest starting the following year. If I had the room, I would probably start a bed earlier, but every one of them is full now.

      I wish some of your damp weather would come our way. The big issue around here is that it's been so dry - I doubt we've had even an inch of rain over the past month.

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  9. Another Hooray for Strawberries - the archetypical Summer fruit! I haven't had any ripe ones yet, but it hopefully won't be too long now. Unlike you, I tend to harvest my lettuces whole. We usually have plenty available, and I am able to use just the best bits, so 1 lettuce normally lasts 1 meal, perhaps with a few leaves left over for the next day.

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    1. I did try to grow a butterhead type lettuce a couple of years ago, but it didn't work out very well. I'll likely try again in the future, but I doubt it would replace my cutting patch - we do enjoy mixing up the lettuce varieties in the salad bowl.

      And the first sweet treats of summer are truly amazing - hopefully it won't be too much longer until you find some on your plate.

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  10. Geez, your garden is so far ahead of mine. Big kale already????????
    You come down here and talk to my plants! About the only thing I'm on par with is the spinach bolting and I don't wanna be at that point-WAH!

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    1. Oh, too funny, Sue! I'll be right over to give them a what for...;)

      I have to say, the kale seemed to size up overnight - the Red Ursa especially wasn't ready to pick last week, but this week it was pushing up on the netting. My Swiss chard is another matter altogether - everyone seems to be harvesting chard left, right and centre and my plants are barely a few inches tall.

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  11. Those strawberries look perfect. They're one thing I'll really miss from the allotment, both Eleanor and I love them and we used to harvest pounds of them, we never got fed up of them. I think I'll have to see if I can squeeze some plants in to the garden somewhere, or even in a container.

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    1. Oh, I would miss them too. They are definitely worth a spot in your back garden; I think Mark grows them quite successfully in containers.

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  12. The strawberries are wonderful. I started two beds this year and am looking forward to next year! How do you keep the critters off them? Nice baskets of greens also. As for turnips, since this is my first year growing them, is that about the right size to harvest? I think I may have some that size.

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    1. Ah yes, strawberry critters - for us, it's the birds that get to them. I remember my first year growing them, they would disappear ever so discretely, just before they were fully ripe. I kept thinking my memory was to blame when I looked for the one that was almost ripe the day before. Haven't had that issue since I started to net the beds, though. The mesh has fairly large holes, about 1/2" or so. Ideally, I'm hoping to create some sort of netted cage that I can simply lift off and on, but for now, the netting is supported by rebar with inverted water bottles slipped on the top.

      For the turnips it probably depends on the variety as some can get strong or woody if harvested too large. The variety I'm growing is fairly mild (White Lady), but even they have become stronger because of the hot weather we had a couple of weeks ago. I would say harvest a couple now to see how they are and make a judgment call based on that.

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  13. No strawberries yet Margaret, but hopefully soon. Yours look delicious. I took out the strawberry bed as you plan to do, last year and put some of the runners in a big container and they are doing very well. Plus there were a few renegades I couldn't pull out, so we should get a bowl full. Do the squirrels and chipmunks take part of your harvest? I imagine so. As for greens...can't keep up ((( But we have not had the high temps you have so slow to bolt. Your harvest is impressive.

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    1. So far those pesky squirrels haven't gotten into the strawberries - probably because they're too busy trying to get at the bird feeders ;)

      I'm not surprised you haven't been able to keep up with the greens...once they get to the harvestable stage, they seem to grow at breakneck speed. Fingers crossed you are tasting those first strawberries very soon!

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  14. Your kale is Amazing. I hope to sow some this weekend for the winter as advised by Mark. I picked my first strawberry yesterday, so hopefully next week will be able to share a harvest, yours look so tasty - so much more superior that supermarket ones. Bet they smell wonderful too.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen! And yes, they do smell heavenly - not at all like the supermarket ones where you put your nose right next to them and you can barely smell a thing!

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