Early March Harvests

During the first week in March we managed to harvest around 1-1/2 pounds of greens for salads and cooking. We’ve been averaging a little over a pound of greens each week so far in 2011, which has been enough to keep us from having to buy any. That’s over twice as much as we harvested during the same time frame in 2010. Growing greens in containers has helped us increase our winter harvests, and the new salad boxes and cold frames should help even more for the winter season next year.

bowl of Space spinach (click on any photo to enlarge)

The Space spinach came from plantings in the greenhouse and cold frame. So far we’ve been eating the spinach in salads, but I should be able to get enough later in the week to have enough to cook some. The mesclun mix below is a mix of tatsoi, pac choi, lettuce, and arugula. There are a couple of little dill plants in there too and I have no idea where the seeds came from! I used transplants for this planter, not a seed mix, so they must have been in the compost I mixed in.

mesclun mix grown in container

The Lingua di Canarino (Canary Tongue) lettuce is an Italian variety that looks a lot like Oak Leaf. I need to get them side by side for a photo op and see how much difference there really is between the two varieties. Fedco calls Canary Tongue “a refined oakleaf that grows larger and stands longer than the original Oakleaf without bolting or getting bitter”. It reminds me of a shorter and less wild looking Radichetta. At any rate, it’s a nice, crisp, mild tasting lettuce and we’re happy to see it in our salad bowls. I got my seeds from Seeds From Italy. The red lettuce next to it is Sea of Red. It’s done well for us this winter, coloring up nicely, and surviving the winter in the cold frame.

Sea of Red and Lingua di Canarino lettuces

Our root cellar supply of sweet potatoes, winter squash and garlic is holding up well. The potatoes and onions are long gone, since we don’t currently have enough growing space to grow enough to last us all year. We can always expand to the front yard someday! And speaking of garlic, I opened up jar of pickled garlic recently and it is quite tasty. I’ve never pickled garlic before, but I have to say it won’t be the last time. The flavor really mellows out, and it great to munch on or to use on salads.

pickled garlic

Not helping one bit with harvesting chores this week was Puddin, who would much rather take a nap in the recliner. Come to think of it, she may be on to something!

Puddin in the recliner

To see what others are harvesting this March, head over to Daphne’s Dandelions.

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13 Responses to Early March Harvests

  1. The Mom says:

    Great looking greens. The pickled garlic looks yummy. My hardnecks are starting to need some intervention. I may have to try pickling some of them.

  2. kitsapFG says:

    Puddin is just darling and definitely has the right idea!

    The greens harvests look really good. Season extension, especially in the spring, is so worth it to enjoy fresh greens in late February and March after a long winter of root crops and more carby fare.

  3. Nice harvest! I will have to look into pickling garlic a bit more – I didn’t know it was was way to preserve garlic.

  4. Barbie says:

    MMMmmm those greens look GREAT!

  5. Ali says:

    I would love more info on the pickled garlic. Do you use it cooking? Can it sub for fresh garlic? I have a lot of garlic left that is rapidly sprouting as I lack good storage. I need to work on food storage….

    • Villager says:

      I’ve used it in salad dressing and in stir frys. It could be used anywhere you don’t mind the lightly sweet/sour taste. Here’s the recipe I used.

      I’ve been potting up some of my sprouting garlic to grow for green garlic. I’m hoping that will help bridge the gap until the main crop is ready.

  6. We grew space spinach last year, and I have to say, I liked it. Reliable and tough, it did great for us. Glad you tried the garlic, I was curious how you’d like it. I haven’t pickled garlic alone yet, although last year I did pickle whole garlic cloves in with our dill cucumber chips. Honestly, I think the garlic was a bigger hit than the cucumbers! 😉 Will definitely have to try just pickling garlic alone this year…last I looked at the garlic beds, they were completely running amok from our late fall plantings!

  7. Robin says:

    Oh boy…what I wouldn’t do for a bowl of that lettuce!! Pretty soon I will have some to harvest from the cold frames.

    I think that Puddin has the right idea!!

  8. Lynda says:

    I am so envious of your lettuces! I keep planting them and I can’t get them to grow much over a few leaves…then somehthing either eats them or they rot in the ground! Darn! I’ll just keep practice until I get it right!

  9. GrafixMuse says:

    Lovely greens! I like your little salad boxes. I love that they can be moved around. Some of my garlic is showing signs of sprouting. Potting some of this up is a great idea.

  10. Daphne Gould says:

    Those greens look wonderful. I can’t wait for greens here, but unless something over wintered successfully it will probably be a couple months from now in May. I’m hoping something survived.

  11. mac says:

    Love those lettuces, that’s what I’m missing in the winter, I’ll have to remember to plant some for winter later this year.
    Have you experienced any spinach that is “too sweet” ? Maybe it’s just my taste palate, maybe it’s the variety of spinach I’m growing. This winter I grow Tyee spinach, occasionally there were few leaves that tasted like candy, it was weird.

    • Villager says:

      I’ve never had spinach that tasted sweet. Some of the other greens seem really sweet to me after they’ve been frosted on, like kale or komatsuna.

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