Monday Recap: Out With The Old, In With The New

For the last couple of weeks it seems like I have been replanting a lot. It started in the blackberry patch. My wife and I decided we wanted to get rid of some of the older blackberries to make room for gooseberries and rhubarb. I have a couple of rhubarb plants already but they are not in a great location and not doing as well as they should. So we dug up the old (blackberries) and planted four plants each of gooseberry and rhubarb. We have Amish Red, Hinnomaki Red, Captivator and Invicta gooseberries. And we have one Canada Red Rhubarb while the rest are Green Victoria. I left the old rhubarb plants so we can harvest them until the new ones get established.

rhubarb plant

rhubarb plant

Other replanting has involved harvesting. As I harvest lettuce in the greenhouse, I have been replanting with leaf amaranth. The amaranth should hold up to the summer heat in the greenhouse better than most greens. The variety in the below photo is Miriah, and it has red veined leaves that can be eaten raw or cooked. I have another red-leafed variety called Polish that I will be planting later for the greens.

Miriah leaf amaranth

Miriah leaf amaranth

As the spinach has bolted, I have been harvesting it and replanting too. I set out cucumbers in the greenhouse bed, and I have been planting celery in one of the coldframe beds. The celery was started back in early March and the plants are nice sized now. The rest of the spinach will be replaced by basil when those plants are ready. It’s been too cold to set out basil yet.

planting celery

planting celery

My wife made a Spinach Pie with some of the spinach I harvested. She usually uses some of the frozen spinach when she makes it throughout the year, but this time we had fresh. I love this dish, and it was one of the many great recipes she brought to our partnership. As I said when I posted the recipe, it’s not exactly a quiche, and not exactly a tarte, so we just call it spinach pie! There was enough spinach in the colander in the below photo for the pie plus some for the freezer.

May spinach harvest

recent spinach harvest

The asparagus bed certainly isn’t going to be replanted anytime soon. It’s alive and well and still in the prime of its life. My wife has been harvesting spears daily, and we’ve hauled in 13 pounds of it so far this year during the first four weeks of harvesting. I roasted some the other night, drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and some dried herbs.

roasted asparagus

roasted asparagus

We’ve been enjoying sweet potatoes from storage. They are still sweet and tasty, and even the one in the below photo (Beauregard) with considerable vole damage was still in great shape some seven months after digging. It was one of the bigger ones, weighing in at a little over two pounds. I had a hard time getting all of it in the photo! It will soon be time to plant this years crop, and I have slips ready to go when the soil warms up a bit.

Beauregard sweet potato with vole damage

Beauregard sweet potato with vole damage

I know some folks might be thinking “are they really going to eat that rodent-damaged sweet potato?” And of course the answer is a resounding YESSSSS! We ate it with gusto, after I trimmed away the bad spots. Actually we ate it roasted with a little olive oil and rosemary, and it was good to the last bite. If you look closely in the below photo you can see the teeth marks from the vole. I am just happy they didn’t eat the whole thing, because sometimes there’s nothing left to harvest.

closeup of vole damage on sweet potato

closeup of vole damage on sweet potato

Not ready for harvest yet are blueberries, but the bushes are loaded with little blueberries. I am really looking forward to fresh ones, probably beginning next month.

young blueberries

young blueberries

I’ll close with some images of something else that’s new and blue, and not quite ready for prime time. These baby bluebirds hatched last week. The below photo was taken on Tuesday, when they were just hatching out. One egg hadn’t even hatched at that time. Notice the empty space in the nest around them.

just hatched baby bluebirds

just hatched baby bluebirds

I got the next image yesterday, five days later. The babies have really grown in that time, starting to fill up the nest, and you can see the beginnings of feathers. The eyes are still closed, but they should begin opening in the next day or so. They grow up so fast! I have been putting up boxes and watching baby bluebirds for close to thirty years now, and I will never cease to be amazed at watching the miracle of life unfold in a little nest box.

bluebirds at day 5

bluebirds at day 5

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a bit of what’s going on here about now. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from HA!

 

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9 Responses to Monday Recap: Out With The Old, In With The New

  1. Daphne says:

    I have to try that spinach pie when my husband is out of town. Though I know I’m going to want to use cheddar instead of mozzarella. Maybe I’ll do half and half and see which one I like better.

    And I’d eat that sweet potato too. I’ve eaten one that looked worse. I just get rid of all the bad parts and enjoy what is left. Sadly I’ve eaten them all no, but the ones sprouting on my kitchen windowsill are ready and trying to take over the area. In not that long I’ll be rooting the slips them and planting them.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday 19 May 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      The original recipe for the pie called for cheddar. I think the half and half sounds good. She has made it with a variety of cheeses, often to use up something we had on hand.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    I too have been replanting. Forgot to sow amaranth, hope I am not too late.
    Amazing how fast those baby bluebirds grow, looking forward to seeing their progress.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvet Monday, May 19, 2014 – Comparing Windowbox & Garden + RampsMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      Norma, I just now sowed the seeds for the Polish amaranth, so I don’t think it’s too late. I have slips from the sweet potato you sent me and I’m looking forward to growing it this year!

  3. Jenny says:

    Love the baby bluebirds! I wish some would nest by us, all get are bluejays and squirels. We did set up the birdfeeder recently and got some blue buntings and woodpeckers visiting and whole slew of tiny brown birds that I’m yet to learn what they are.
    Jenny recently posted…Harvest May 18My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I love the blue buntings. We occasionally see them here. I just call the mystery birds SBBs – small brown birds!

  4. Michelle says:

    I always enjoy coming by Happy Acres to see what’s new. Those baby bluebirds are a treat to see, it is amazing how quickly they grew! I feel exactly the same way you do about rodent damage, I’ve got a few rat gnawed beets even now that I’m going to trim and cook. I love amaranth greens too, but I have to wait a couple of months yet, they really resent our chilly nights at this time of year.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – May 19, 2014My Profile

  5. elizabeth says:

    Victoria doesn’t seem to be a very popular variety of rhubarb, because it isn’t red, but I find the taste really good, even better than some of the red varieties, how about you?

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