Harvest Monday: Garlic, Squash, and a Marsupial

When I went to check on the garlic beds yesterday I was shocked to find that some of it was ready to be dug. It’s exactly two weeks before I started digging last year, but then I remembered that I had waited too long for a couple of varieties. Not surprisingly, those were two of the ones ready now. I’m glad I checked on them when I did.

The varieties harvested are all hardnecks, and either Asiatic or Turban varieties. From left to right we have Uzbek, Japanese, Xian and Chinese Pink. The Xian and Uzbek were two of my best performers last year, coming in right behind Music and Lorz Italian in terms of harvest weight. For reference, the plastic labels are 5″ long, and these bulbs are all about 2″ in diameter. I’ll weigh them after they have dried and I can trim them up.

Of course weight isn’t everything when it comes to garlic (or other foods). Taste and keeping quality are also very important. The ones I harvested get a plus for being early, but they don’t keep as long as some of the other varieties. I am hoping in the next year or two I will be able to figure out which kinds of garlic we want to grow, and then cut back on the number of varieties. My wife is skeptical on me cutting back on anything having to do with gardening!

I used up the last of the garlic scapes to make another batch of pesto, which went on a pita pizza this week. We also made one with basil pesto (store bought). The garlic pesto one was my favorite, and it also featured some of our local bacon and some 2009 dried tomatoes. It’s the one on the right. We were too hungry that day to wait for photos after baking!

Another thing we made with pitas was some dessert pizza, featuring our fresh strawberries, blueberries and black raspberries. I spread the pita with a sweetened yogurt cheese and ricotta mixture, then topped it with the berries and some whipped cream. The jury is still out on using pitas for the crust, but the flavor was heavenly. Neither of us felt like baking shortbread.

pita dessert pizza

Another thing we made with our harvest this week was some refrigerator pickles. I guess you could call them marinated cucumbers, since most of them were only around for a few hours before they were eaten.

I picked over 7 pounds of summer squash, as all the plants seemed to produce several squash at once. The striped zucchini is Striata D’Italia, an heirloom and one of my favorites. We donated about 4 pounds of the squash to the Potters Wheel food pantry, which is where we took the first harvest from the church garden.

The marsupial ‘harvested’ this week is an opossum, and not the first to find its way into the trap. I can’t say for certain what crops it might have gotten into, but my guess would be ALL of them! We had real problems with possums last year at the MG food pantry garden, where they pretty well ate all the melon crop before we were able to relocate them. This one was much happier when I set it loose in the ‘retirement village’, which is several miles away from HA.

I got a nice head of Tendersweet cabbage this week. It cooked in no time, seasoned with a little butter, salt and pepper. These heads are a great size for the two of us, weighing in at around 2 pounds each. It’s a flathead type.

 

Tendersweet cabbage

We also continued to harvest broccoli and lettuce, as well as a head of cauliflower and some scallions. The total harvest for the week was 22 pounds, not counting the garlic or the possum.

Not helping a bit were the two girl cats, seen here enjoying the cool tile floor in the kitchen. Puddin on the left couldn’t even be bothered to wake up, while Shel did at least glare at me a bit.

 

idle cats

For more gardener’s harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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22 Responses to Harvest Monday: Garlic, Squash, and a Marsupial

  1. Thomas says:

    What at great harvest! You continue to impress us all. The cabbage looks absolutely perfect.

    How do you know when your garlic is really? Since this is my first year growing them, I thought I’d ask.

    • Villager says:

      I’m still learning about garlic myself, but I harvest when the top 4 leaves are still green, but starting to turn yellow/brown. Wait too long (which happened with 2 of mine) and the stalk disappears and the wrapper layers disintegrate. Each leaf corresponds to a layer covering the bulb, so you want some dried (the lower leaves) and the last 3-4 layers (top leaves) starting to dry. Make sense?

  2. vrtlaricaana says:

    Beautiful harvest. That cabbage looks perfect. Iā€™m not sure if we are going to have any cabbage this year. So far they are not forming any heads.

  3. Robin says:

    Wow…what a harvest!! That’s a really fine head of cabbage. I’ve been having such a time with the cabbage due to the heat we have had.

    That opposum sure looks unhappy…great pic!

  4. That garlic is beautiful! I can’t wait to plant my first crop in Fall!

  5. michelle says:

    Your kitties look about as useful and lively as mine!

    What a wonderful and bountiful harvest. The pizzas look scrumptious. Your photo of the possum makes it look cute, but I know from personal experience that they are nasty little things.

    My hardneck garlics came in earlier than expected this year also, although last year I did the same thing you did and waited too long, so perhaps they were actually right on schedule. My softneck garlics haven’t sized up yet and probably won’t since rust is killing the foliage.

  6. johanna says:

    This all looks so beautiful. I love the garlic, the cabbage, the squash and cukes, the fruit and the cats. The stripped zucchini is very impressive. Might look into planting next year. Amazed at how much you have.

  7. mac says:

    Bountiful and beautiful harvest as usual! Is my kitty napping at your house?

    I’m not harvesting my garlic at the right time, I’ve always grown my garlic at the old house (except this year) which I don’t go to check on them often enough, by the time I remember to go there the leaves had all dried up. If I want tender garlic scapes and good quality garlic I should grow them here so I can keep an eye on them.

  8. Considering you excluded the weight of the opossum, that’s an impressive harvest! He/she looks like youngster. I wonder who you’ll catch next week?

    Your pizzas look wonderful, and I think the dessert pizza sounds absolutely fabulous!

  9. Daphne says:

    Zucchini is like that isn’t it? It is all or nothing in my garden. I made refrigerator pickles today, but mine weren’t made of cukes (still a while off for me). I made them from my snap peas instead. Last year I found they were a good substitute for cuke pickles. And they are great on hamburgers.

  10. Meredith says:

    Everything looks so lovely, Villager. (Well, bar the marsupial. šŸ˜‰

    Our garlic came up a couple of weeks ago, and I tried softneck and hardneck varieties and was *not* impressed with the softneck versions in my garden. But still, it is fun to know I can grow something I use so much of in my kitchen. Your kitchen always looks like a splendid place to be. I’d take a bit of berry dessert and a slice of the garlic-scape-pesto pizza. šŸ™‚

    • Villager says:

      You mean you don’t think the possum looks cute? If you ignore the sharp teeth and the naked tail, that is!

      I’m finding garlic to be very particular as to what grows well and what doesn’t. I’m in my third year of experimenting. I had some softnecks that did well, and others that disappointed. Only time will tell what proves to work best here for us.

      We would have loved to share pizza and dessert, but you didn’t get here in time! šŸ˜‰

  11. Meredith says:

    Er, when I say the garlic “came up”, I mean I yanked it out of the ground and harvested it, LOL. It sort of sounds, upon rereading, as though I meant it were sprouting from the soil. šŸ˜‰

  12. Christina says:

    Great garlic harvest. I keep adding to my garlic collection rather than paring down; however, I do grow less of some varieties than I used to and more of others. This was the first year I grew both Lorz Italian and Music; Music did okay, but Lorz Italian struggled. I’ll give it another year to see how it does later.

    My favorites for flavor are the Marble Purple Stripes, but the Artichokes and Turbans win for productivity. My second favorites in flavor are the Creoles . . . do you grow any? If you’re interested, I have plenty of Ajo Rojo for a swap . . ..

    • Villager says:

      I did not grow any Creoles this year. I would definitely be interested in a swap! I have about 19 varieties planted this year, many for the first time. I should be digging the rest of mine in the next couple of weeks. I will post a list and photos as I get them dug up.

  13. Martha says:

    Mighty fine looking harvest! I’m also impressed with your ability to trap pests! I have a grounhog who I would gladly send to keep company with your friend. He once sat in my neighbor’s yard munching on tomatoes.

    Your garlic is impressive. Apparently we can’t grow long-term garlic in containers, so I grew what they call green garlic. It’s just regular garlic harvested after only growing for a few weeks. It’s interesting and is excellent in a green garlic soup, which is a lot like leek and potato soup. It was yummy.

  14. Allison says:

    BEAUTIFUL HARVEST! (Minus the marsupial!)

    I need to learn more about garlic too; right now I just have what I am lucky enough to have growing wild in my front yard!

  15. Dan says:

    Those are some nice harvests! Really nice selection of garlic too. I always forget to order the fancy garlic and then end up with what ever is at the farmers market. Must order some this year!

  16. Stevie says:

    Great looking garlic, pizza, (and marsupial)! My garlic has rust on the leaves this year. it’s a bummer. I thought garlic was bulllet-proof.

  17. debsgarden says:

    Villager, I have got to quit reading your blog when I’m hungry! Those pizzas look very tasty!

  18. LynnS says:

    This is not the post to read if you are hungry! Beautiful pizzas!

    Garlic bulbs look great! Hardnecks here, too, for most of our garlic, and yes ours are early this year too.

    So how did you cook the ‘possum?

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