Monday, June 20, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 20, 2016


Feeling hot, hot, hot...that's been the theme (again!) over the past week or so.  With temperatures into the 30's most days (86F+), I still get out there for a few hours each day, although not nearly as long as I would like.

The lack of rain is another concern - I would be surprised if we received more than an inch in the past couple of months.  We are "supposed" to have some good rain this afternoon - forecasts are not guarantees, so fingers crossed that this one is correct.

On a very positive note, the drip supplies have been delivered.  I was going to get started on it this past weekend but with Fathers Day celebrations, both days were basically accounted for.  I'll be doing one veg area at a time, starting with the hilltop.  As with most other projects, I know this one will take me longer than I anticipate, so I'm trying to include a big buffer when it comes to timing.

And now on to the harvests.  This week, there were a few newcomers & first up is the chamomile:

Chamomile

This year, I moved 4 seedlings that had self-seeded into the large metal bin where I am also growing mint.  It looks like those 4 little guys will yield more than enough flowers for my tea needs for the year.  Only a couple of days after I harvested this batch, there was a similar batch ready to be picked.  Once I pick them, I simply spread them out on newspaper that I have laid out on the shelves of my light stand in the basement.

I'm picking the flower heads every few days so that I don't end up with the sea of seedlings from flowers that have gone to seed.  I'm actually still picking out self sown seedlings from last years sowing in the asparagus bed.  The chamomile harvests are not only small but also light as a feather so I'm not going to bother weighing them - even I, with my Type A personality, have limits ;)

Also new this past week was kohlrabi:

Kolibri kohlrabi

These guys are pretty big compared to those that I grew last year (of the same variety), with the largest of them weighing in at 300 grams/10.6 oz (trimmed).  This particular variety is supposed to be just as delicious when it gets larger and does not get woody like some others do.  I just harvested them yesterday & plan to include them in a veggie tray this evening, which I'm quite excited about.  Last year, Kolibri completely transformed my opinion of kohlrabi, from "ok" to "give me MORE!".  My kids loved it too, which is always a very big plus.

And the last new harvest was a much anticipated one - snow peas:

Oregon Sugar Pod snow peas

We have been watching the peas flowering for a while and I finally spotted a few that were ready to pick - yum!  Now these are included in the tally, not so much because of their weight, but because I want to keep track of when harvests start & how long they last.

The strawberries have REALLY picked up their pace with 1.7 kg/2.8 lbs harvested last week:

Fort Laramie Strawberries

Not bad for a bed that's in its 3rd year of production.  Many of these were eaten fresh, but I also froze a few bags for winter use - gotta take advantage while the harvest is in full swing & come January, I'll be very grateful that I did.

And the lettuce is up to full speed as well.  I'm officially leaving a few of the romaine varieties to form heads and concentrating on picking mainly from the leaf and Batavian lettuce.

From the top:  Royal Red, Jericho & Sierra MI

Also harvested but not photographed were a big batch of turnips.  The greens were frozen - I LOVE turnip greens...they are right up there on my list of favourites to include in winter soups.  As for the bulbs, I've been roasting them as they do have a much stronger flavour than they did last year.  I'm also planning on incorporating them into a cream soup this week & I'll let you know how that works out.

My harvest totals this week were:

Kohlrabi - 718 grams (1.58 lbs)
Lettuce – 638 grams (1.41 lbs)
Snow Peas - 10 grams (0.02 lbs)
Turnips - 2,740 grams (6.04 lbs)
Turnip Greens - 2,220 grams (4.89 lbs)
Strawberries - 1,724 grams (3.80 lbs)

Total for Week –  8,050 grams (17.75 lbs)

Total to Date –  17.40 kg (38.36 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

38 comments:

  1. Ooh, congratulations on such nice first harvests of the season. Those little chamomile flowers are so pretty. I am missing not having any kohlrabi this year, but I have a feeling that it wouldn't have done well in our scorching spring heat (up to 100 degrees F already). Maybe I'll grow some for the fall?

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - I love having my own all natural tea with one ingredient. It keeps so well in a jar too; very worthwhile for herbal tea drinkers.

      I'm hoping to grow some more kohlrabi in the fall as well - the farm I volunteer at had a variety that I'm also trying this year called Kossak...it literally grew almost to soccer ball size but was still sweet & delicious (and not woody). They were harvested in the fall and they kept really well, so I'll be trying that this year as well.

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  2. Sounds like your having lots of goodies from the garden. I'm still just at radishes and about a hundred varieties of lettuce. Spinach bolted, Kale is small, and sugar snaps are just starting to flower. Don't forget to shred some of those kohlrabi into salad---so so tasty!

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    1. I had not thought to do that, Sue - I'll definitely have to give it a go this week! Yes, the lettuce is going crazy now, isn't it? I remember when I first started growing it and planted WAY too much - I'm now down to only a 3'x4' spot and it's still more than enough for salads every single day...what a workhorse!

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  3. Very nice kohlrabi, you are way ahead of me on those (I barely have greens coming up). I had only eaten kohlrabi for the first time a couple of years ago and am really glad that I'm growing it now.

    And what a lovely bowl of chamomile (flowers and the cute bowl!).

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    1. Thanks Susie! I sowed a 2nd batch of kolrabi right next to the 1st and those barely have their 1st set of true leaves; I think they have been overshadowed by the earlier sown ones & I'm hoping that now that I've pulled a few of the larger guys, these smaller ones will start to size up.

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  4. Wow, you don't often see bloggers posting about harvesting Chamomile! Your weather sounds like the exact opposite to ours. We have been tempted to switch the central heating back on! And we have had plenty of rain too. I'm worried about my potted plants getting waterlogged.

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    1. It's been so dry, even our grass is starting to get crunchy - I hope we get more than a drizzle this afternoon.

      I would say the chamomile is very worthwile for anyone who enjoys the commercial version - super easy to grow & dry and it stores for a long time in a jar. One medium sized pot with 4 plants could easily keep a tea drinker supplied for many months (no preservatives necessary)!

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  5. Your camomile is so different from my, i have lots of petals but not the yellow middle. Snap with the strawberries, except you have an abundance. My lettuce is just starting to poke its head out, i only stuck the seeds in the ground last week.

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    1. That's so strange...I've only ever seen it with the yellow centre - it must be a different variety? Lettuce is one of those crops that goes from seed to harvest in a "relatively" short period of time, so hopefully you'll be harvesting in a few short weeks. I should get going with my 2nd sowing of lettuce actually - when you are inundated with lettuce, it's often easy to forget that it will likely bolt soon, especially with this heat.

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  6. Your comments on the chamomile are interesting. I think that might be what is flowering now all over the garden. Someone planted it in their plot and let a lot of it go to seed, so it has become a weed, along with teh lemon balm and a few other things. Nice kohlrabi and how nice you are starting to get peas. I'm still waiting for that to happen.

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    1. Thanks David - We love peas around here, especially the edible pod ones; I'm glad I sowed the snow peas as it looks like we are still in for a bit of a wait on the sugar snaps. I wouldn't be surprised if the flowering "weed" in your plot is chamomile. It flowers so prolifically that keeping up with it can be a challenge, especially at a plot where you may not be around as often to harvest.

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  7. awesome job on strawberries!and i love the gorgeous purple color of kohlrabi, makes for a great snack.

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    1. Thanks Jenny - considering the state of the bed (crowded and weedy), I'm pleasantly surprised that the strawberries are performing as well as they are.

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  8. That's a great harvest, and so early in the season too, plenty of variety already. I'm fed up of our weather, it's done nothing but rain and it's really chilly too. Can you believe I've had the heating on today, June, pah!

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    1. Thanks Jo - You had to turn the heating on? I knew it wasn't that warm over there, but didn't think it had come to that - pah, is right!

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  9. What a nice variety of produce you are harvesting now. I love both turnips and their greens, but no one else does down here. Those available in markets are years old and woody and strong. Homegrown bolt and don't size up. So yum yum on your turnips, especially cooked like home fries.

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    1. You may want to try one of the quick maturing salad turnips - the variety I grew is called White Lady and it goes from seed to harvest in just over 30 days, so you may be able to fit it in during a month when your temps are a bit more moderate?

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  10. I love chamomile, but it has become something of a weed in my garden, I'm still picking it out of the bed where I let it go to seed 3 years ago. But yes, homegrown chamomile tea is fabulous. I like to add some homegrown lemon verbena leaves too. It seems to be the season for kholrabi and it all looks so good that I'm tempted to give it a try again. Fabulous strawberries!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! And I can believe it with the chamomile - I have a feeling I'll be doing the same. I suppose the only upside is that I didn't have to fiddle with seeding any this year as I was able to transplant a few of the self sown seedlings instead. I've been toying with growing a few more herbs specifically for tea; adding lemon verbena sounds wonderful, especially as I'm a sucker for all things lemon :)

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  11. Congrats on that kohlrabi sizing up for you! And I'm always happy to see another fan. I know I can't get enough of it, and like Sue I like to grate it up for salads and slaw. It's been dry of late here too and I'm going to have to hook up the soaker hose this week. I hope your drip project comes in ahead of time and under budget!

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    1. I'm thrilled with the kohlrabi - last year it tasted amazing, but the bulbs were so small that I needed a couple just for a snack for me!

      When it comes to these sorts of projects, I always estimate how much time I think I'll need....and then I double it :) And when it comes to cost, you know how these things go - you look at the individual components and they seem to be downright cheap - then you add it all up and whoa! This is my second go-round with drip, so at least I planned for that and it's not too much over budget, so that's something to be greatful for :)

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  12. That's a very impressive harvest for this time of year. I'm a fan of Kolibri, it's that rare purple variety that not only looks great but beats the other varieties on flavor and growth. Strawberries look fantastic, great harvest. Nothing compares to a freshly picked strawberry.

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    1. Thanks! Kolibri was a definite opinion changer when it came to kohlrabi for me...it definitely pays to try more than one variety, especially if you are unsure if you "like" a particular vegetable.

      Freshly picked strawberries are amazing, aren't they....you can tell I've been harvesting as soon as I walk in the kitchen, just by the smell!

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  13. Those strawberries look delicious along with the snow peas too! I still haven't grown kohlrabi- you are making me curious to try it next year. And I appreciated the weather up in your neck of the woods last week. It seems it got hotter after we left, but anything below 90 this time of year sounds lovely to me. Hopefully you get some rain!

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    1. I would say go for it when it comes to kohlrabi - it doesn't take up much space & some varieties like Kolibri are quick to mature, so you have little to lose. And guess what....after all the hype, it didn't end up raining yesterday...ugh!!

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  14. Lovely kolibri, they are my favorite. Need to start planning for fall planting. And those strawberries, I am so jealous.

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    1. It always strikes me as stange that we are planning for fall before our summer crops have even come in! I'm hoping to plant up a couple of fall beds where the onions and garlic are currently planted. I'd better start looking at those transplanting times!

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  15. Your gardens are doing so well and I didn't know about freezing turnip greens for soup. Do they have a sweet taste? It has been so hot, humid and windy here today I didn't do much outdoors. Nancy

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    1. I find the turnip greens mild tasting & tender, but not necessarily sweet. I freeze them in soup pot sized portions, all chopped up and ready to go so that I can simply plop them into the pot. And oh yes, the wind has been horrible here too! I can't tell you how many times I've had to refasten the netting over the onions.

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  16. Snow Peas already--wow! Someone suggested eating Kohlrabi raw, dipped in salt. How do you eat it? We received a big one from our veggie share, and I always wonder how to prepare it. ;-)

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    1. This was my first time growing snow peas in the spring and I'm so pleased, especially as they are ready at least a couple of weeks before the sugar snaps, which is the usual variety I grow.

      For the kohlrabi, I peel it, cut it into sticks and munch on them raw, either on their own or with a veggie dip (I often use a quick dip made with yoghurt & a bit of ranch or some freshly chopped dill)...delish!

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  17. Isn't it a shame that we can't average out at the weather and share it? You have too much heat we have too much rain. The strawberries look wonderful I don't suppose you have the slug damage that we have.

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    1. Oh, wouldn't that be nice....swapping a bit of cooler temps & rain with our dryness & heat!! We do have some slug damage on the strawberries, but not much. Even though we have been dry, which I'm sure is helping, I'm still surprised that there isn't more damage as I didn't do the straw mulch on the bed this year that keeps the developing strawberries well off the ground.

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  18. We've been experiencing similar condition. Even the trees are starting to look a little peaked. It seems surrounding towns are getting pop up showers but sadly nothing for our garden. Your strawberries look scrumptious. I've never grown kohlrabi let alone eat it. How do you usually prepare it?

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    1. I was out watering the trees in the past couple of days and I have a feeling we'll have to start watering the grass this week too. We generally don't do that, even when it goes brown and dormant in mid-summer as I just think it's such a waste of water. A few years ago, however, when we had a similar drought, sections of grass actually died out and were replaced with weeds once the rains eventually came, so now I try to water if it's been dry for more than a few weeks.

      For the kohlrabi, I peel & chop it up into sticks and then have it as part of a veggie tray with a yoghurt dip (or all on it's own if I can't wait!); a few people have also commented that it is delicious grated into salad or as a slaw, something that I will be trying. Just an FYI, different varieties of kohlrabi can taste very different - I had never tasted any until I grew a variety called "Old Vienna" a couple of years ago. It didn't win me over as a raw veg as I found it to be MUCH too cabbagy, but it was ok when roasted. Last year, I tried Kolibri and WOW - what a difference! This one was much too delicious to cook - it completely changed my opinion of kohlrabi.

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  19. Looks good! I just added a pot of monarda citriodora to my garden today and thought of you. :o) I hope you get the rain you need.

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    1. Mine are still tiny - it will be a few weeks yet until we see those first beautiful blooms. The forecast is for some showers tonight...I'll believe it when I feel it ;)

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