Monday, June 27, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 27, 2016


It was a good evening yesterday.  Why?  Because of the soft patter of rain falling.  Finally.  It wasn't a huge downpour, but enough to make everything look a wee bit fresher this morning.  They are calling for more rain on Friday...but that is a LONG way off when it comes to the forecast.

So on to the harvests - first up are the newbies.  It's scape time & most of them were ready to harvest.

Garlic Scapes

I trimmed off any leek moth* damage (I spoke about this in my update yesterday) which, thankfully was minimal.  Some scapes are in the fridge, waiting for me to whip up a batch of scape dressing, while the bulk of them were washed, chopped & frozen.

Also new this week were the Golden Sweet snow peas:

Golden Sweet Snow Peas

This is the first time I'm growing these and I'm a bit undecided on them so far.  I was waiting for them to get larger - in line with the Oregon Sugar Pods that I'm also growing - but I think that I let some of them go too far as the peas started to swell before they were what I would consider full size.  I also found them to be less tender/crunchy than the Oregon SP.  I'm not sure if that was because I let them get too mature, the heat that we have been having, or perhaps that's just how they are.  So, the jury is still out on these guys.

The Oregon Sugar Pod peas have been stepping up the pace a lot over the past week:

Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas

As has the lettuce:

Sweetie Baby Lettuce

I've started to harvest heads of lettuce instead of simply leaves - I'm actually surprised that none of them have started to bolt yet with all this heat, but I'm sure it won't be too much longer.

A salad basket - various lettuces, kale & snow peas

The strawberry bed hit it's peak and is now winding down.  Some of the berries are eaten fresh, while others are frozen:

Frozen Berries

I freeze the berries on a sheet pan lined with cling film & then package them so that I can take out as many or few as I want:

All ready to store for a mid-winter treat

More turnips & greens also hit the harvest basket.

White Lady Turnips
I did end up making that cream of turnip soup I spoke about last week and I must say it was delicious...a perfect use for turnips that are a bit too strong.  It actually should be called "Cream of Turnip and Potato Soup" as it consisted of equal portions of both turnips and potatoes, which is likely what gave it the mild turnip flavour.  A keeper.

The Kolibri kohlrabi is almost done - there are only a few left to be harvested.

Kolibri Kohlrabi

Unlike the turnips, these guys are just as delicious as they were last year - in fact, they are more delicious as there is so much more of them.  Last time I grew them they didn't size up very well, but this time - wow - the big guy on the left weighed in at 350 grams/12 oz (after it was trimmed) and was still tender, moist and sweet.

So that's it for the harvests - now for a disappointing non-harvest - the cherries.

The only thing left on the tree - a whole lot of pits

We were late to net the tree and obviously didn't do a very good job.  This is a bit ironic as I had specifically pruned the tree this spring in order to make it easier to net.

We draped the netting over the top of the tree and tied it loosely underneath, but still left a rather wide opening on the bottom.  Well, I noticed a robin under the tree a couple of times and realized that they were actually going in underneath the netting and into the tree to get to the cherries.  Lesson learned - next year we have to make sure the ENTIRE tree canopy is netted.

My harvest totals this week were:

Garlic Scapes - 942 grams (2.08 lbs)
Kale - 190 grams (0.42 lbs)
Kohlrabi - 620 grams (1.37 lbs)
Lettuce - 426 grams (0.94 lbs)
Snow Peas - 720 grams (1.59 lbs)
Turnips - 846 grams (1.87 lbs)
Turnip Greens - 608 grams (1.34 lbs)
Strawberries - 918 grams (2.02 lbs)

Total for Week –  5,270 grams (11.62 lbs)

Total to Date –  22.67 kg (49.98 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.

*I originally thought that the alliums were being attacked by onion maggots but have subsequently realized that, in fact, I was dealing with leek moths so have adjusted this post accordingly.

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

22 comments:

  1. You're hoping for rain?? We're hoping it will stop! The Wimbledon tennis tournament has started today, so we are bound to get rain for the next 2 weeks at least! What a shame about the cherries - birds can be such a nuisance sometimes! I need to start thinking about netting my blueberries now...

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    1. Ha ha...just the right amount of rain is an elusive thing these days for everyone it seems! We love the birds and have the half dozen feeders to back that up but it would be LOVELY if they stuck to the feeders and stayed out of my fruit!

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  2. Nice harvests Margaret. I think the Golden Sweet peas are very pretty and appetizing; I'm sure the hot weather had a lot to do with your mixed results, but I've never grown them. I'm always looking for a new pea variety. I hope your rain comes our way.

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    1. They are pretty, aren't they. Another reason I quite like them is that they are a climbing variety; most snow peas seem to be bush types and I'm thinking a climber may give me extended harvest.

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  3. Oh, those sneaky robins! They find ALL the good morsels, don't they?
    No matter how carefully I cover my blueberries, it seems everytime I take the fabric down to harvest, there's a Robin in there. Devils!
    Hahahhaha
    Have a great week

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    1. You are so right! The robin looked downright demure under the tree. I thought it was looking around for worms so didn't even bother to shoo it away. I suppose that's the berry and fruit curse - we love them, but so do the birds. With all the new fruit trees/berry bushes I've put in, I have a feeling the challenge is just beginning.

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  4. Nice harvest, Margaret. I grew Golden Sweet last year because I wanted a pea that grew very tall and couldn't get Green Beauty. They are pretty but I found them kind of thin and floppy. They didn't hold in a stir fry and the color, while pretty in the basket, didn't appeal in a cooked dish. So they didn't repeat this year because I scored some Green Beauty from Baker Creek.

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    1. That was the main reason I wanted to give Golden Sweet a go - that they are a climber. But like you, I don't feel they have that much substance and I much prefer the crunch and sweetness of the Oregon Sugar Pod although I wasn't sure if this was due to the weather or if that's just how they are. I'll have to add Green Beauty to my Baker Creek list for next year.

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  5. You have so many things coming in now! And those strawberries are lovely. It's always nice to have fruit in the freezer, for sure. Too bad about the cherries though. We have a mulberry tree that ripens about the time the cherries do, and the birds seem to prefer the mulberries. I'll weigh in on Golden Sweet too, since I grew it several years ago. One of my readers sent me some seed to try, and while it did great in the garden I just didn't think it had a lot of flavor. Peas are always a challenge here in spring, but this year the Sugar Ann and Oregon Sugar Pod 2 did well and made tasty pods. They both scrambled up my trellis too, with only a little coaxing at the start.

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    1. We have a mulberry too, but I think that it ripens later than the cherry...there are so many birds around here, though, I doubt it would make much difference other than increasing the variety in their buffet!

      So it looks like there are a few of us that are a bit underwhelmed by the Golden Sweet. On the other hand, we really enjoy the Oregon Sugar Pod...but we have the original, not the "2" ;)

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  6. I hope we get some rain here too! It has been really dry the last few weeks. So far Oregon Sugar Pods are my favorite too. I've never tried the Golden Sweet ones, but I imagine it is hard to beat the Oregon Sugar Pods. Your strawberry harvest looks delicious, it's nice to be able to save some for a winter treat. That's unfortunate about your cherries- birds can be so smart and so annoying! I once had a dove inside my row cover with no obvious place it entered.

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    1. Oh, you are kidding...birds can be craftier than we give them credit for, obviously! The Oregon Sugar Pods are the only other variety I've grown (actually my son grew them last year - up until then, I had only grown sugar snaps). And you are right, they are hard to beat. I'm actually quite surprised by them as they are giving us quite a bang for our raised bed real estate, even with the short vines.

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  7. A nice variety for this weeks harvest! The strawberries almost make me wish I still grew them ... but not quite as I find them a lot of work to maintain.

    And yes, a shame about the cherries.

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    1. Thanks Susie! Strawberries are a challenge to maintain, that's for sure. I didn't even bother weeding the bed this year as everything was so entangled with the runners and I knew that I would be pulling everything out this summer.

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  8. I guess I'm in the minority when it comes to Golden Sweet snow peas, I like them. But yes, they aren't as substantial as most green varieties, definitely more petite and thinner. I actually eat most of them raw in salads so the texture isn't an issue for me. And when I do cook with them I just have to be careful to not overcook them. The main reason I prefer them to the shorter green varieties like Oregon Sugar Pod is that the harvest season is much more extended. It alway drove me crazy when the snow peas came in so quickly and then poof they were done, especially since I don't put any away in the freezer and didn't like having a glut of them. I have tried Green Beauty, a climbing variety, but they are far too susceptible to powdery mildew which is a scourge in my climate.

    What perfect heads of lettuce! And luscious strawberries. What a shame about the cherries. The birds are too smart, if there's a weakness in my defenses they always find it. I've got my blueberry bushes enclosed in tulle because they will just pluck the berries right through regular bird netting unless it is suspended well above and away from the branches. I've seen them sit on the netting so that their weight will lower the netting down low enough so they can peck through it!

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    1. I am completely with you on the extended harvest - I'm trying a staggered sowing of sugar snaps for exactly that reason...we always had a huge glut and then nothing. Your posts were what inspired me to give Golden Sweet a go - I recall that you had months of snow peas last year. If they give me snow peas when others have fizzled out, they would still be worthwhile growing. I did find they weren't that sweet, but I likely was harvesting them too late - I'll start harvesting them sooner and hopefully that ups the sweetness.

      And that is a great idea, using tulle - I wonder if I could do that for my cherry tree as it seems a lot of the cherries were munched through the rather large holes of the bird netting...hmm.

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  9. You're getting so many different things, the kohlrabi and turnips look absolutely perfect. That's a big bummer about the cherries, they're just too tempting.

    I'm jealous of your rain though, it keeps missing us and all the plants sulk even with watering everyday.

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    1. The cherries ARE too tempting! I really feel like a bit of a fool for leaving such a big gap...hindsight is 20-20, right? As for rain, we finally did get some but it was nowhere near as much as we needed as the soil is so dry - oh well, every little bit helps, I guess.

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  10. Most of our cherries have fallen off the tree. I don't know whether it is that we have had too much rain and not enough sunshine or for some other reason. No peas of any kind here yet so I am quite envious of your harvest.

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    1. Oh no...so both of us will be cherriless this year :( I'm sure your peas will come in soon - I'm really looking forward to your reaction when you first try the sugar snaps...they are AMAZING!

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  11. That's too bad about your cherries. So sad. The strawberries look delicious, though.

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    1. Thanks K - The first time I grew strawberries, I didn't realize I had to net them and they too were gobbled up by birds...live and learn!

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