Harvest Monday – Transition

It’s now mid-May, and the harvests are slowly transitioning from the leafy greens of late winter and early spring to the more substantial fruits and vegetables of late spring and summer. Which means our diet is in transition as well.

We’re getting small harvests of strawberries every day, enough to have topping our breakfast yogurt, plus a few more to snack on. My wife confessed she had eaten some while on the way to pick asparagus, thus throwing off the totals. They’re hard to resist! I’ve eaten a few like that myself. It’s hard to think about counting when you’ve got juicy ripe strawberries just waiting to jump in your mouth!

daily dose of red

I got the first big head of broccoli this week. It was the Packman variety, and weighed in at 12 oz. – rather large for a spring planting in my experience. Broccoli does much better here in the fall. I attribute that to the thick layer of compost I spread on that bed behind the greenhouse. The brassicas planted there have really responded.

I’ve also harvested enough of the small Apollo shoots to have a taste of it. That variety resembles broccolini in taste and appearance. We’re still waiting on the Piracicaba to start producing, but the plants are vigorous and healthy.

Packman broccoli

The asparagus harvest continues in full force. We harvested right at 3 pounds of it last week, bringing the season total to 13 pounds. We should be able to get at least another week or two of harvests. I used some of the spears in a Shrimp & Asparagus with Oyster Sauce stirfry.

Shrimp & Asparagus stirfry

The scallions are sizing up faster than we can eat them, so I picked quite a few and put them in the frig for later. Last year I let them get too big and the quality suffered. These varieties are true scallions and won’t bulb up, but they are better when younger in my opinion. I got about a pound of them this week, which is quite a few. I immediately replanted in their place with some more seedlings, this time a variety called White Spear that is supposed to be heat resistant.

nice size for scallions

I got a pretty big haul of kohlrabi this week too, over 3 pounds of it. And I harvested the last of the tatsoi and Yukina Savoy from the greenhouse for a stirfry. I’ll replant in there with some heat tolerant pac choi varieties like Black Summer and Shanghai. I’ve got a Frilled Leaf Chinese Cabbage I’m going to try also which is supposed to tolerate the heat.

tatsoi and Yukina Savoy

I did harvest about 4 pounds of lettuce and take it to the soup kitchen. I’m trying to use the spring planted lettuce to make room for summer varieties. Last year I managed to harvest lettuce all summer long, and though the quality wasn’t as good as that grown in cooler temps, it was still tasty and gave us nice greens for summer salads and sandwiches.

Add in a few radishes and some arugula, and the week’s total was 16.5 pounds. For more gardener’s harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions and see what’s growing!

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16 Responses to Harvest Monday – Transition

  1. vrtlaricaana says:

    This is very big harvest! I am impressed.
    That broccoli head is large. I have some growing for fall harvest.

  2. Angela says:

    It is nice to see how you are adding different vegetables to your harvest with each passing week.

    I am with your wife, forget about weighing strawberries, nothing tastes better that a just picked strawberry eating right in the garden. Paradise!

  3. Thomas says:

    I’m really impressed by that crown of broccoli. When did you start the seed/transplant? And was it grown undercover? Now that I’ve dug a patch of garden space that gets full sun during the late winter early spring, I’m excited to see what can come out of this year’s winter garden. You’re giving me something to aspire to!

    • Villager says:

      Thomas, I started the broccoli seeds on 2/11, and got the plants in the ground on 3/29. It was planted in the open, without cover.

      Last year’s spring planting of broccoli was still producing side shoots in August when I had to pull the plants to make room for the fall plantings.

  4. Angela says:

    I meant “eaten” in the post above. Ah… typos…

  5. Meredith says:

    Impressive broccoli head. Ours are not nearly so large, but then, I’m not harvesting with an eye to counts and totals. (Although I totally understand why other gardeners do that!) Seems your wife wasn’t thinking of the totals, either, and I imagine those berries eaten just picked out under the sky were the sweetest of the bunch. 🙂

    Your harvests are impressive, as always, Villager. Your scallions look just perfect, so I have to ask of your expertise. We ate some of our first scallions week before last, and I was alarmed to discover they are super hot and spicy, almost intolerably so. Do you know what would cause that? (We direct-seeded them in mid-February.)

    • Villager says:

      It was hard to let that first broccoli keep growing bigger! I wanted to harvest it and steam it for days before I actually did. It might have gotten bigger, but we wanted it for dinner Sat. night.

      I’m not sure what makes scallions hot, but I would guess it could be either the weather or soil composition. I know I can’t grow sweet bulbing onions, even if I grow varieties like Walla Walla or Granex. They always turn out hot. It’s partly the soil that makes the Vidalia onions sweet, and therefore hard to duplicate. I don’t know if that has the same effect on scallions or not, though it makes sense if it does. I will say I just ate a bite of one of ours and it was mild, almost bland tasting.

  6. Robin says:

    OMG what beautiful veggies and strawberries! Your post always makes me so hungry!! The Shrimp & Asparagus with Oyster Sauce stirfry looks wonderful!

  7. That’s no fair! I don’t have any ripe strawberries yet! *whimper*

    And the broccoli looks pretty good, too 😉

  8. michelle says:

    Wow, what a harvest! The strawberries look fabulous and what a head of broccoli, super. The stir fry looks delicious. You’re living the good life. 🙂

  9. We’ve been nibbling on strawberries too this week…and very few have made it inside the house! We’re growing the same variety of broccoli, but haven’t harvested any yet (planted it a bit late). Your greens look great. I’ve noticed our Tatsoi are just starting to show signs of bolting, as is our Lollo Rossa lettuce. You’re right, it is a time of transition, and time to get our warm season transplants situated!

  10. Jane says:

    What a wonderful harvest you have had over the last week! Everything looks fantastic!

  11. Daphne says:

    I wish I could get that big of a broccoli head even in the fall. I’ve yet to master broccoli. Maybe some day.

    So what varieties of lettuce do you plant in the summer? I’m always on the lookout for heat tolerant lettuce for harvests in August. I find I have a few week window without lettuce and it always coincides with the huge tomato harvests.

    • Villager says:

      In summer I grow Batavian lettuces like Loma, Nevada or Magenta and heat tolerant leaf lettuces like Tropicana, Berenice, Slobolt, Salad Bowl and New Red Fire. I also put them where they get sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon – in my case, that means the east side of the greenhouse.

  12. LynnS says:

    Love your large head of broccoli!! Ours aren’t heading up yet so we’ve had to be content with the side shoots of our Kale. That works. lol
    You are so ahead of us — I’m starting to think we are in Zone 5! 😉
    Happy eating!!

  13. mac says:

    Whoa nice harvest as usual, that broccoli head is big, I haven’t manage to grow broccoli yet, maybe I’ll try again coming fall.
    The shrimp stir fry looks so yummy, glad to see oyster sauce in your stir fry, you’re an adventurous cook.

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