Harvest Monday, March 15, 2010

We had another nice haul of greens this week. The second “thinning” of spinach yielded a little over a pound. I made four plantings this year, about double what I grew last year, because we like spinach so much. It’s also the best time to grow it here, or at least I think so. Fall plantings are usually dicey, with germination difficult. I still grow it then, but the results are less predictable.

Gigante Inverno and Spargo spinach after thinning

Come April it will begin bolting, so we will enjoy it while we can. This week I thinned a variety called Spargo, which I’ve grown for several years now, and an heirloom Italian variety called Gigante Inverno (Giant Winter Spinach) that’s new to me. It’s growing nicely, with large rich-tasting leaves. I’ll be watching to see how fast it bolts. In the photo above, the Gigante Inverno is on the left, the Spargo on the right. There’s a volunteer mache plant somewhere in the middle.

wilted spinach salad

We had some of the spinach in a wilted spinach salad, and more went into a chicken and spinach soup. I think we will call March Spinach Month!

Yukina Savoy and pak choi

I harvested some nice sized Yukina Savoy, which is similar to tatsoi but larger and more upright. It was planted in January. I also pulled one older pak choi plant that was starting to bolt. I mixed them both in a stir fry I fixed to go with our Red Beans and Rice on Friday night. Talk about a cross-cultural meal!

Yukina Savoy

I also harvested some lettuce for salads. One plant almost wound up as lunch for a vole. I was out in the greenhouse, doing some transplanting when I heard a rustling noise. Thinking maybe it was a bird on the outside, I started looking around for the source of the noise. Then I noticed one of the lettuces in the greenhouse bed was shaking. I looked closer and saw a hole in the soil next to the plant. The entire lettuce plant had been gnawed off at the base. I had rescued it just in time! So I harvested 3 more of the lettuces nearby. I was going to do it anyway, but the vole just gave the task a new sense of urgency!

Simpson Elite and New Red Fire lettuces

So this weeks harvest tally is:

Asian greens(18 oz)

Spinach(17 oz)

Lettuce(9 oz)

Total Harvest 2.73 lbs

To see other gardeners’ harvests,or to add your own, visit Harvest Monday at Daphne’s Dandelions.

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14 Responses to Harvest Monday, March 15, 2010

  1. Jane says:

    Hi Villager! Wow your greens are beautiful! It’s hard to believe you can grow all of this in a greenhouse surrounded by snow!! Do you use the yakina savoy in salads or is it better cooked?

  2. A lovely harvest indeed. I haven’t seen the Yukina Savoy before, it has amazingly dark green leaves. We just started making homemade pasta again, and I can’t wait to divert some of our spinach into some fresh ravioli with ricotta! Enjoy your greens!

    • Villager says:

      Ooh, fresh spinach ravioli sounds good! That’s a thought – we could even make some noodles with our greens.

  3. I have seen that sort of shaking going on when a gopher was eating my tulips. Most distressing. Your salads look scrumptious.

  4. I am fascinated by that Yukino Savoy despite the fact that savoys always irk me when I’m cleaning them. I do like their crunch. Nice spinach harvest! I like the name of gigante inverno – gives you hope for the overwintering. I haven’t bothered trying to overwinter – in snow – spinach but you are all giving me inspiration. Normally I wintersow in a coldframe for an early spring harvest. Fall sowing seems like a better idea if they’ll make it here.

  5. mac says:

    Nice harvest, beautiful greens.
    Both you and Jane are having good results with Italian spinach, I’ll have to try these varieties someday.

  6. Meredith says:

    Your savoy is so beautiful. You clearly have the magic touch for greens, villager. Our spinach is doing pitifully, but I planted it in a spot that is still shaded even now; I’d thought sure it would be in sun by now, but the angle still has to go up a bit more. (This is my first early spring garden here — last year we’d barely got the furniture settled at this time.)

    Meanwhile I’ll enjoy looking at yours, at least. 😉

    • Villager says:

      Thanks Meredith. The greenhouse and coldframes make it easier to grow the greens. If I could just get rid of the vole now!

  7. Daphne says:

    I love the look of Yukia Savoy. I’m a big fan of Asian greens and hadn’t heard about that one. It is a really stunning plant and if it tastes like tatsoi, it must be great.

  8. michelle says:

    You have the most beautiful spinach. I can’t seem to get the hang of growing spinach, it just seems to sit there, sit there, sit there, not growing, and then all of a sudden it’s either bolting or full of leaf miners. That’s one vegetable that I still buy. The Yukina Savoy is lovely also, such a good sized plant in only 2 months! That’s very inspiring.

    • Villager says:

      We’re lucky in that leaf miners have never been a problem with our spinach or other greens. The Yukina Savoy is a wonderful plant – very easy to grow here and quick. I get the seeds from Johnny’s. They have a nice selections of Asian greens, as does Kitazawa.

  9. Thomas says:

    This is an amazing harvest for this time of year. You’ve given me something to aspire to! I love the look of that savoy also. Come to think of it, I think grew some last year as I’m pretty sure Johnny’s send me the wrong seed (which was supposed to be tatsoi). Yours definitely resembles more of what I grew.

  10. LynnS says:

    Beautiful harvest! I am also very impressed with the savoy. I passed the seed over this year thinking I was over-buying, now I wish I had started it. What a beautiful leaf, and the color is so deep. I would bet you are holding a powerhouse of nutrition.

    Like you, I love the Asian greens. I believe that they will become more and more popular in the next couple of years.

    If I were eating in your restaurant, your spinach salad would be my order!

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