Harvest Monday December 5, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I managed to bring in several fresh harvests last week. First up were the turnips, literally pulled up from the main garden. I harvested the red skinned Tsugaru Scarlet and Scarlet Ohno Revival plus the white salad turnips Oasis. There was a little over five pounds total of roots and greens before cleaning and trimming them up.

Tsugaru Scarlet Turnips

Tsugaru Scarlet Turnips

The Tsugari Scarlet is a Japanese variety that I generally use for pickling or kraut. This year I decided to make fermented ‘pickles’ out of them, since we still have lots of kraut in the frig. The flesh inside these turnips is white with streaks of reddish pink, and I think it has a fairly spicy flavor.

inside of Tsugaru Scarlet turnip

inside of Tsugaru Scarlet turnip

I cut them into wedge shapes, then packed them in a quart jar along with a few cloves of garlic and added a 2% brine solution I made with sea salt and water. I’ll leave them sit on the kitchen counter for a week or two. They should turn to a uniform shade of pink after they have fermented. After less than two days they were bubbling away on the counter, and turning the brine pink, so they are off to a good start.

Tsugaru scarlet turnips fermenting

Tsugaru scarlet turnips fermenting

The Oasis has white skin and white fleshed roots with a mild flavor, and I think the greens are as tasty as the roots. All the turnips had been through several freeze cycles, but seemed none the worse for it. My wife cooked the Oasis roots up with the greens for a side dish one night.

Oasis turnip

Oasis turnip

It’s my first time growing the Scarlet Ohno Revival. I grew these mostly for the greens, but I have to say the roots were a pleasant surprise. I thought the skin was a little tough, perhaps because I left them grow for a long time, but after peeling the roots cooked up nice and tender. The inside flesh was white with pink flecks, though not quite as striking as the Tsugaru Scarlet.

Scarlet Ohno Revival turnip

Scarlet Ohno Revival turnip

Other than turnips, I pulled the last of the mature lettuce from the cold frame beds. I had three plants of Tall Oaks left. They too had been through several cycles of freezing and thawing, but unlike the turnips they were protected by the cold frames. Tall Oaks is a Wild Garden Seed creation of oak leaf types crossed with romaines, and wound up being one of my favorites of the lettuces I grew this year. The plants are not completely uniform in size, color or shape, but most of mine turned out to be tall green oak leaf types. I cut them anywhere from the baby to the mature stage, and all had tender leaves with a crunchy midrib. Some of this wound up in a turkey taco salad, which also featured some of the cilantro sprouts I am growing, along with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

harvest of Tall Oaks lettuce

harvest of Tall Oaks lettuce

The other harvest I got last week was pea shoots, grown indoors under fluorescent lights in the basement. This variety is Dwarf Grey Sugar, an heirloom snow pea. There’s about three ounces of them in this cutting, and we stir fried them very briefly. We cooked a couple of big King Oyster mushrooms first, then added the pea shoots right at the end and turned off the heat. We gave them a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil and served them up as a quick side dish. I say ‘we’ in the prep details because it was a joint effort between me and my wife, as we collaborated on preparing this first harvest of shoots. I’ve got more of the Dwarf Grey Sugar shoots left, and I’ve started a second batch of shoots using Johnny’s Field Peas, which it says are the ‘preferred pea’ for shoots. We should know in a few days which one of the two we prefer.

pea shoots

pea shoots

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!

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10 Responses to Harvest Monday December 5, 2016

  1. The scarlet turnip is interesting. It’s good that you can extend the growinfg season by using your basement.
    Susan Garrett recently posted…Harvesting a chicken stew – well almostMy Profile

  2. Susie says:

    Those pea shoots look wonderful, definitely on my list of things to try.
    Susie recently posted…Harvest Monday: December 5, 2016My Profile

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Wow, 5 pounds of turnips! They look great. I’m definitely going to grow more next year, as I really enjoyed the ones we got. The salad types are a big improvement over the boiling variety I never liked.

  4. Enjoyed reading about your micro green experiments from last week and seeing the harvests today. With our mild winter I grow chard, baby leaf kale and Asian mixed greens in 12-inch terracotta pots and harvest the micro greens but then let the greens grow to a modest size. Most seem to regrow well after cutting. The Tall Oaks lettuce looks like a nice choice–crunch and lacy lettuce in one plant.

  5. Michelle says:

    Your turnips look great. The Tsugaru coloring is very pretty. I don’t have any this winter since I didn’t get around to sowing any this fall. I love pea shoots! I used to buy them by the bagful at the Asian grocery store and used them to make salads.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – November 28, 2016My Profile

  6. Beautiful turnips. Ooh they’re lovely pea shoots..I forgot to sow any yet…
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday, mushrooms and a gleanMy Profile

  7. Erin says:

    Wow, the Tsugaru turnips look amazing! For some reason (I’m going to blame my parents here) I’ve never eaten turnips..I might try a turnip and potato mash first, or maybe some turnip pickles to wade in at the shallows.
    I’m curious, how do you go about growing the peas under flourescents? It’s not something we normally have to do here in Australia but if we have another cold Spring I might need the pointers!
    Erin recently posted…Harvest MondayMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I sprouted the peas first in a jar, then planted on top of the soil and covered with another flat. They were up in no time!

  8. Margaret says:

    Lovely harvests – that is quite the turnip haul, especially this late in the season. My turnips weren’t the greatest this year due to the heat – I have a feeling they would have done much better had I grown them in the fall. And all those greens! I broke down and purchased some lettuce this past week – that moment never fails to make me a bit sad.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – November 28, 2016My Profile

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