June Harvests Bring Firsts

Our early June harvests are definitely showing a nice variety of homegrown goodies – many for the first time this year. This is one time when change really is good! Our first “new thing” this month was kohlrabi. Winner and Kolibri are ones I’ve grown for years and are dependable producers here. Those first two kohlrabis of the season in the photo below have been followed by a steady stream of others that are harvested as needed. I planted more than usual this year, about thirty plants, so we should have plenty. Kohlrabi is such an easy to grow vegetable, and it really shines here in both spring and fall. It’s too bad that more people aren’t aware of it.

Winner and Kolibri kohlrabi (click on any image to enlarge)

The Kossak kohlrabi is new here, and it’s a giant variety that can get up to 8″ in diameter and still not be woody. Johnny’s Selected Seeds says it will keep several months in storage. I’ll have to grow some this fall to see about its keeping qualities. The first one this year was harvested at about 4″ in size and was consumed the same day! I’ll let some grow larger now and see how they taste. All the kohlrabi we’ve harvested so far have been sliced up and eaten raw with a little Tahini Yogurt Sauce for dipping. But I will cook some too as the season progresses.

Kossak kohlrabi

I also harvested our first green beans, from the Purple Queen variety. It was just enough for a taste. The vines are loaded with beans and blossoms though, and I should get a nice picking later this week. And the Rocdor wax beans are blooming too, so they should be ready next.

Purple Queen beans and Chinese Purple garlic

Some of the earliest maturing garlic is starting to get brown leaves down low, so I thought I would dig one and see how it was doing. The Chinese Purple is an early variety, and the one in the photo above weighed 1 ounce after cutting off the roots and top. It was very juicy and garlicky, and most of it wound up in the Tahini Yogurt Sauce. I truly love fresh dug garlic! I’m guessing it will be a couple of weeks before the garlic is really brown enough to start digging. We’ve still got some of the 2011 garlic in storage, but it is nice to have fresh.

The garlic scapes have pretty much all been harvested. Some went into salad dressing, and some went into pesto. All have been thoroughly enjoyed. Talk about a homegrown, seasonal treat! We’ve hauled in about 2 pounds of them this year.

garlic scape harvest

June brought us the first big harvest of carrots. 2012 looks to be a much better year for carrots than 2011. It is worth the extra effort to grow carrots, though they are surely not the easiest vegetable to grow by any means. The varieties ready now are Yaya and Mokum. We cooked them up with just a little butter and honey added and they were delicious.

Mokum and Yaya carrots

Speaking of honey, we’re gearing up for the first ever honey harvest here at Happy Acres. I think that will deserve its own post. Let me just say we could be having a sticky good time here real soon! And my wife and I are both pretty excited about that. Go bees!

Lettuce isn’t a new thing in June, but a repeat visitor that we have almost 12 months of the year. The varieties planted have held up to the heat so far. That’s Slobolt, New Red Fire and Red Sails in the below photo. Those leaves wound up in a wilted lettuce salad – one of my very favorite things. The salad went well with a meal of burgers and potato salad.

lettuce for wilting

Did I say potato salad? Yes! We got some nice potatoes from the garden too. I had intended to steal a few without digging the whole plant but the first one I grabbed was so big, I figured I might as well pull one plant and see what I could get. What I got was just over 2 pounds of lovely Red Lasoda taters. These low-starch potatoes are great for boiling, and they hold their shape well for salads. I’m looking forward to digging some of the Russian Banana fingerlings today for some German fried potatoes. That variety is also good for roasting.

Red Lasoda potatoes

And if all that wasn’t exciting enough, I harvested the first summer squash of the season on Saturday. The little yellow one wound up in a frittata we had yesterday for lunch. The zucchinis are next in line for harvesting.

yellow squash and Winner kohlrabi

And I can’t forget to mention the great blueberries. We’ve been enjoying them for about 3 weeks now, and so far we’ve gotten about 7 quarts of them. We’re freezing many of them for use later, but they are so good fresh! I really enjoy them with some homemade yogurt for breakfast. We’ve still got some of last year’s crop in the freezer, and I think they are going to wind up in some blueberry muffins.

blueberries on yogurt

That’s a look at what we’re harvesting here in early June. To see what others from around the world are harvesting, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Mondays.

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23 Responses to June Harvests Bring Firsts

  1. Norma Chang says:

    You are so far ahead of us. Will the purple queen beans stay purple after cooking? What a delightful potato harvest. I wonder if any of my potato has formed, think I will poke around when I go to the garden later.

  2. kitsapFG says:

    What a great harvest week you had! Zucchini, blueberries, kohlrabi, lettuces, garlic and scapes, and potatoes too. We will harvest our first zucchini this coming week but my potatoes have yet to start flowering so it will be a while before I start stealing new potatoes. I noticed my garlic is sending out scapes so those should be on the menu for us too soon.

  3. Liz says:

    What fabulous harvests, Í want to eat your breakfast – looks great. I’ve never tried growing kohlrabi (in fact I’m not even sure if I’ve eaten much if any of it) but I love the shape of it and the beautiful purple colour.

    • Dave says:

      Kohlrabi is a bit firmer than a turnip, and holds up better in cooking. Raw, it reminds me of jicama – which we can’t really grow here.

      • pooks says:

        Finally! Now that I’ve seen your description of kohlrabi, it makes me want to try it. I’ve never had it before and wasn’t sure what to expect if I did.

        Those are beautiful potatoes.

  4. Delicious looking harvest, and nicely done on carrots! Thanks for the advice on growing kohlrabi — I’ve been lobbying the Gardener to add it to our list as we need another vege that does well in spring.

  5. Jenny says:

    That is one very colorful harvest! Squash, beans, red potatoes and carrots so early in season, we’re definitely behind you by at least couple of weeks. I love the taste of kohlrabi, but it takes too much space here – 2 square feet for one plant so I won’t plant it next year. I can plant alot more carrots in its space.

    • Dave says:

      FWIW, I plant ours on a 6″ spacing, and it does quite well. That’s the spacing Jim Crockett used, and it’s worked well for me over the years.

  6. Barbie says:

    I guess I didn’t realize you get lettuce all year. WOW! That’s really incredible.

    • Dave says:

      With the cold frames and greenhouse, we do usually have it all year long. It’s not as tasty or tender in the heat of summer, but it’s good enough for a sandwich for sure!

  7. Mike R says:

    I have to resist the temptation to filch a few potatoes, at least for a few more weeks. I haven’t found a better way to prepare kohlrabi than to not cook it at all. It’s best raw with a dip or in a salad.

  8. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Awesome harvest, terrific variety. I have eaten kohlrabi raw, but never tried to grow it. That’s one more thing for my list of things to try.

  9. becky3086 says:

    Those potatoes look great! And I love your carrots too. I hope mine eventually grow.

  10. Daphne says:

    I picked all my six kohlrabis last week. But my carrots are still not ready. I wish they would grow faster.

  11. maryhysong says:

    What a great harvest you had this week. Love those kohrabi; have not been very successful here in the desert with them, might try them again in the fall. I love the Red LaSoda potatoes; grew them in TX and they were always very productive.

  12. Dave's SFG says:

    After seeing yours and Daphne’s kohlrabi, I am definitely going to put them on my planting list for next year. And wilted lettuce salad is also one of my favorites. I always put in a couple of squares of Black Seeded Simpson for that, which is what we used to grow at home.

  13. Bee Girl says:

    What a phenomenal harvest! You have so much diversity and are so far ahead of us! Crazy!

    I do agree, though…your honey harvest absolutely deserves its own post! Can’t wait to see how it all comes out!

  14. Christina says:

    Beautiful harvest, Dave. You are the king of berries. I always drool over your berries, whether they’re these gorgeous blues or your huge blackberries that come later in the summer. You’ve got the magic touch!

  15. Julie says:

    What a nice harvest! I’ve had no luck with kohlrabi. I tried planting it in the fall and in the spring and all I’ve gotten are tall and skinny plants. Love your purple beans and all those blueberries look wonderful too!

  16. Patsy says:

    I just posted about kohlrabi on my blog too! I’m so glad you appreciate this much underrated veggie. My German grandmother cooked it like a thick stew, leaves and all and I loved it that way. BTW, I very much enjoy your blog!

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