Monday, July 4, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 4, 2016


First of all - Happy 4th of July to all those south of the border!  Our tradition on Canada Day (which was a few days ago on July 1st) is to go out for breakfast and then watch the fireworks in the evening.  Whether you go out or stay in, I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday today.  Now on to the main attraction... the harvests!

First up this week was the smallest, but most exciting harvest:

Fall Gold Raspberry
 
If you recall, I mentioned how all of the berry bushes had suffered from the heat and lack of rain in my Hilltop Update last week.  Most of the buds on the bushes are dried out but a few blossoms miraculously made it through and provided us with our first taste of this variety.  After the one pictured above, we harvested a few more later in the week.  Yum! 

Next up is broccoli.  I harvested from 2 varieties, neither of which was overly impressive.  Packman gave us a good sized head, but it was not exactly uniform:

Packman Broccoli
 
The other variety I harvested was Munchkin...which certainly lived up to it's name:

Munchkin Broccoli
 
That's two heads in there...if you can call them that.  I'm probably being much too critical, however, as we have had very hot temps over the past month and broccoli likes it cool, so I'll take what I can get.  And of course, a harvest doesn't have to be pretty or large to be delicious.  Now I wait for side shoots which comprised the bulk of the broccoli harvest last year.  I'm hoping that the 5 Arcadia plants in that bed give me a better showing than these varieties did.

The next newcomer this week is sugar snaps:

Sugar Snap Peas
 
This is always an exciting harvest - we LOVE our sugar snaps around here.  Since we have been harvesting snow peas for a couple of weeks already, I felt as if our first harvest of sugar snaps was rather late, but when I looked back at prior years it was pretty much on time.

We are continuing to pick strawberries:

Strawberries
 
Not much left in the patch now - perhaps another small picking or two.

The last of the garlic scapes were harvested:

Garlic Scapes
 
And of course lettuce:

Jericho & Royal Red Lettuce
 
Lastly the snow peas, which are hitting their peak:

Oregon Sugar Pod (left); Golden Sweet (right)
 
I had previously mentioned that I wasn't sure about the future of Golden Sweet snow peas in my garden.  I liked that they were a climber, which may give me a larger and/or extended harvest, but their taste and minimal crispness didn't win me over.

This past week, however, I changed my tune.  Why?  Because I discovered the PERFECT use for them.  Since I found them rather unimpressive as a fresh snow pea, I decided to see what they would be like after I gave them a quick whirl in a skillet.

I drizzled a bit of olive oil into a frying pan, added the trimmed peas and stir-fried them over medium highish heat for a couple of minutes, then sprinkled them with coarse salt.  That's it.  And WHAT a transformation!  They were actually crisper & juicier than before I cooked them.  And as a side note, it was indeed a drizzling of olive oil - perhaps 1/2 a tsp. - these are not deep-fried by any means.

Golden Sweet Peas - Transformed
 
We couldn't get enough.  If you have these guys in your garden, do give this a try - you'll be amazed.

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 398 grams (0.88 lbs)
Garlic Scapes – 244 grams (0.54 lbs)
Lettuce – 1,260 grams (2.78 lbs)
Snap Peas – 488 grams (1.06 lbs)
Snow Peas – 1,216 grams (2.68 lbs)
Strawberries – 496 grams (1.09 lbs)
Raspberries – 12 grams (0.03 lbs)

Total for Week – 4,106 grams (9.05 lbs)

Total to Date – 26.78 kg (59.03 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

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information about Canada Day. I wondered. Belated best wishes. I'm glad to know about the fall gold raspberry. I wondered about it, too. Apparently it grows here as well. Might try it.

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    1. Thanks Jane! Fall Gold is supposed to provide both a spring and fall harvest - hopefully I'll see it's potential this fall once I get the soaker hoses installed in the rows.

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  2. My broccoli this spring didn't make very pretty heads either, and I blame the heat. That news about the Golden Sweet is interesting. I know I tried cooking them, but probably mixed them in with other things in a stir fry where I couldn't really appreciate their flavor. Your treatment sounds a lot like how I fixed our snow peas this spring, so I will put Golden Sweet back on my grow-list. Those strawberries are lovely too!

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    1. Thanks Dave - I was pretty amazed at how delicious the peas were cooked in that way. Had them for lunch again today and my son kept stealing them off my plate and mumbling "so good" as he munched away :)

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  3. Great harvests! I guess broccoli is the least tolerant of the cool-weather crops, because your peas and lettuces are still looking good. And I'm so envious of the strawberries.

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    1. Thanks Will - you may be right about the broccoli. I think that another factor may also be that the lettuce is in a bed that already has drip in it, while the broccoli bed has been languishing in an on again/off again watering cycle. This area is the last to get the drip installed, so hopefully thirsty plants will be a thing of the past by the end of the week.

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  4. Yes, raspberries and strawberries! The lightly fried peas also look really good. I haven't done very well with peas the last few years but keep on trying anyway.

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    1. That's like me and squash - I figure (hope!) I'll get it right eventually :)

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  5. Our sugar peas are just flowering now but the plants are hardly growing. I hope at least some peas will develop.

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    1. Considering your cool weather over there, I'm surprised that your peas aren't florishing - every year the garden seems to throw us a bit of a head scratcher, doesn't it.

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  6. Munchkin broccoli, cute but...........??

    And I love the idea for the snow peas. I don't grow snow peas, but I love the idea of cooking them like that.

    The strawberries look so so good.
    Great variety in the harvests now. I hope to get to that point soon. I'm tired of just lettuce and Sugar Snaps........

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    1. I know!! Those "heads" are smaller than the sideshoots I got from Arcadia last year!! I'm thinking it must be the heat as there is NO way this size head would be considered normal, even for a variety called Munchkin.

      I hadn't grown snow peas before this year, but now I'll not be without them - just the fact that they start producing a good 2 weeks or so before the sugar snaps makes it worth it!

      And I have no doubt the avalanche will start for you soon, Sue and then you'll be longing for the leisurely lettuce and pea days ;) Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July!

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  7. So many peas, and I love that you grow so many different varieties. And those strawberries look so luscious.

    I've never been able to successfully grow peas here, but I'll try again this fall and maybe next spring. Peas are definitely one of the treasures of a garden.

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    1. Peas are definitely worth a try. Considering how hot it's been here, I'm surprised they've done as well as they have - but then again, I do recall you mentioning that 80F+ was a cool down, so my hot is likely not as hot as yours :)

      I'm sure there MUST be some heat tolerant varieties out there you could try in a cooler, shady spot (isn't it a bit shady near the carport??). The thing with peas - esp. snow peas, I find - is that you don't need a whole lot of space. We are harvesting more than enough from a 2'x4' spot.

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  8. Congrats on the raspberries! And those strawberries look oh so delicious. My broccoli is similar, but it seems we always get too much heat so I try to only grow heat tolerant varieties. The cooked golden snow peas sound delicious. Actually all of your peas look delicious. they are one of my favorites.. enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Julie! I didn't even look at the heat tolerance of the broccoli varieties I chose as I just assumed there would be plenty of cool spring/early summer weather to egg them along. The weather these days is anything but predictable, so I should definitely try to include one next year though.

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  9. The peas, strawberries, and lettuce all look so yummy! Gosh, I'm jealous about those raspberries! Happy harvest!

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    1. Thanks Beth - we are certainly enjoying the abundance and with any luck, it won't be too much longer before the fridge is overflowing.

      Raspberries are such a treat, even if they are only a small handful. Hopefully we get more than a taste this fall.

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  10. How nice that your new way of cooking the Golden Snow Peas worked out so well - experiments like that lead to all the best recipes! I love this time of year, when the garden delivers a different harvest more or less every day. I wish I had room for summer broccoli though (I always want something extra...). I'm just about to plant my PSB seedlings in preparation for next Spring.

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    1. I love this time of year too - a variety of veg are coming in at a relatively steady pace, all of the hard work is done (unless you're installing a drip system, that is!) and the first tomato is not far off.

      Having broccoli right now is wonderful...I'm wondering if being able to grow all of these "extras" would be enough enticement for you to get that allotment plot ;) I've actually been waiting to read a post on what your current inclination on the plot is.

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  11. I'm so happy you found a way to love Golden Sweet snow peas. What a sweet surprise the raspberries are! My little patch of raspberries was pretty much eliminated by the gophers. There's a few surviving sprouts that I should dig up and try to revive elsewhere, there's nothing like raspberries straight from the garden.

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    1. I'm so glad I found a good use for the Golden Sweet peas especially as they were one of the new additions that I was really looking forward to this year. I just hope they carry on in my garden as long as they do in yours!

      I didn't realize that you had raspberries - hopefully you'll be able to nurse those sprouts back into healthy, productive plants. I can't wait until the rows of berries fill in. I'm already starting to see some progress on that end with the red raspberries. But netting it all will be a task that I'm not looking forward to!

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