Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We continue to enjoy the lettuce harvests here, which is a good thing because a lot of it is ready to eat! I cut one head of Smile last week for tacos. Smile is a green oak leaf lettuce I got from Adaptive Seeds, but the leaves have a buttery feel almost like a butterhead lettuce.
I also cut all three of the Australian Yellow lettuce plants so my wife could make wilted lettuce salad. Australian Yellow looks much like a Black Seeded Simpson, except it does have a little more charteuse color to it. The leaves are big and tender, and perfect for wilting or any other use. I’ve got some more of it started and I will test its heat tolerance with a June planting. I also started some crisphead types (Cardinale, Sierra, Jester, Anuenue, Unicum) which usually do well here when planted in early summer. There was enough of that lettuce for us to enjoy two meals of it.
The last lettuce I cut was the wildly-colored Pele from Wild Garden Seeds. This is my first time growing this short romaine, but it won’t likely be my last. It’s beautiful to look at, and tasty in the salad bowl with large leaves that have a crunch midrib. The one in the below photo weighed right at 10 ounces, and would have likely gotten bigger if I had left it to grow longer. I’ll share two photos of it since neither pic does it justice on their own. WGS calls it a ‘short leaf’ romaine but it got tall enough that the cold frame lid was scrunching down on the leaves enough to break them.
Another first here last week was the first kohlrabi. Konan is a 2016 AAS Winner, and was bred by Bejo Seeds, who also bred the Kossak and Kolibri varieties. The one in the below photo weighed a little over five ounces after trimming the leaves, and we enjoyed eating it raw so we could get the full benefit of the mild flavor. Slugs have eaten on the leaves but so far haven’t done any damage to the rest of the plants.
A few days later another Konan was joined by the first Kolibri of the season. The Konan was 6.6 ounces and the Kolibri weighed 4.7 ounces. I also have Winner planted in the same cold frame bed, but it is not quite ready to harvest. Konan has definitely won me over with not only its earliness but also its mild and crunchy taste. These two in the below photo wound up in a slaw I whipped up, using the scallion as well. The kohlrabi was tender enough I used it skin and all.
The snow and snap peas are coming on strong now. I made several pickings of them, the largest of which is shown below. Oregon Sugar Pod 2 has been the most prolific, but it’s not really a fair comparison since I had germination problems with Sugar Ann and Avalanche. I plan to sow all three again for a fall crop, where germination is usually not a problem for me. These wound up in a stir fry my wife cooked last night.
I cut two of the Tokyo Bekana loose headed cabbages on Saturday so I could make a test batch of kimchi. Since I want to make it less spicy than most I have tasted, I settled on making a so-called white kimchi (aka Baek kimchi), using the basic kimchi technique outlined in The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Last night I chopped the cabbage along with daikon radish and carrot and soaked the veggies overnight in a 5% brine solution. Then I will drain and taste this morning, rinsing if it’s too salty. I have chosen to not add hot peppers to mine this first time, and if I like the recipe I can make it again with Napa cabbage and add a few hot peppers to suit my tastes. After brining, I will add ginger, garlic and a few sliced scallions and pack into a quart jar. It takes about 2 lb/900g of veggies to fill a quart jar, so my 20 ounces of Bekana should be just about right when the the rest of the ingredients are added. You can see in the below photo that the slugs have already dined on the cabbage, so maybe I should call this batch Wonky Kimchi!
My wife has been harvesting our cherries as they ripen. She accumulated enough to make a cobbler for us. The trees are not in a great location, and have never really taken off, but they do give us a few cherries every year. We are planning our annual trip to Farview Orchards this week to stock up the freezer with both sweet and tart cherries.
And last but never least, we made the final cutting of asparagus on Saturday. Well, my wife made it, and it brought the yearly total up to a bit over 30 pounds. This was less than the 35 pounds we got last year, but still a lot of asparagus for the two of us to enjoy, and enjoy it we have! We froze a little bit for use later on, but most of it we consumed as it came in. Now it’s time to finish mulching the beds, and apply a little more fertilizer to give the ferns plenty of nutrients to grow and replenish the roots for next year’s crop.
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!