Harvest Monday December 25, 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. And let me say Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating! First let me announce a change for Harvest Monday. To give me a little break, Michelle (From Seed To Table) has again graciously agreed to take over hosting next month (January, 2018). So to linkup next week, please visit From Seed To Table instead of coming here to find Mr Linky. I really appreciate Michelle giving me a break this time of year, especially when my harvests are generally pretty sparse. I’ll be back as host on February 5, 2018. I did have several harvests though last week, including some Wild Garden Kale Mix that I braised for a side dish. The smooth leaves are tender and sweet, and this is the parent stock for other varieties like White Russian, Red Ursa and Wild Red. The plants all look slightly different, but are generally tasty and pretty tolerant of the cold, if not the snow.

Wild Garden Kale Mix

Wild Garden Kale Mix

I also pulled about a pound of Scarlet Queen Red Stems turnips. I sowed these pretty thick back in early September and didn’t thin them, as I was more interested in the green than the roots. They did make some baby turnips though and I cut them up and braised them along with the greens.

Scarlet Queen Red Stems turnips

Scarlet Queen Red Stems turnips

I made a small cutting of lettuce from the greenhouse. This was from plants I have growing in window boxes, plus I have more in salad boxes that will be ready soon. It’s Salad Bowl in this cutting, or at least that’s what the seed packet said. It looks more like a green oakleaf to me, but it was tender and mild regardless. You can see in the below photo we were getting a ‘wintry mix’ on Saturday, which thankfully did not stick on the roads. Just the day before, my wife were out walking in shirtsleeve weather (near 60°F)!

Salad Bowl lettuce

Salad Bowl lettuce

And I cut a few leaves of Apollo arugula and Koji tatsoi to go in a frittata yesterday. I have both these greens growing in containers in the greenhouse. It is so nice to have fresh greens this time of year, and I can usually get some sort of hardy greens from the greenhouse all winter.

arugula and tatsoi

arugula and tatsoi

I roasted a mix of kohlrabi and Bora King radishes one night, which have been hanging out in the refrigerator from a previous harvest. The radishes keep their color quite well when prepared this way, and I think the mild and slightly spicy flavor works well. We love kohlrabi pretty much any way you prepare it, which is a good thing because I harvested 82 pounds of it this year!

roasted radish and kohlrabi

roasted radish and kohlrabi

I continue to experiment with the Instant Pot, and this week I cooked up a batch of chili con carne. First I cooked the beans, using a small red bean from Rancho Gordo called Domingo Rojo. The unsoaked beans were cooked perfectly after 25 minutes at high pressure. Then I removed the beans and cooked the meat, and for this batch I used bison stew meat. 30 minutes at high pressure had the super lean meat tender but not falling apart. Next I combined the meat and beans along with homemade tomato sauce and frozen red bell peppers and fresh onions from the garden, plus some of my own guajillo chile powder. I pressured that mix for 20 minutes, which had the meat starting to fall apart but the beans still intact. At that point I went to slow cooker mode and let it cook for another couple of hours to develop the flavors. I like that fact it was a one pot meal, and the Instant Pot worked well for both modes of cooking. The chili was pretty tasty too!

Chili Con Carne

Chili Con Carne

Yesterday I got an early Christmas present. I’ve been seeing bluebirds here occasionally the last couple of weeks. It’s usually been either a pair, or a small group of 4 or 5 birds which is probably the pair plus their offspring. Yesterday they were at the suet feeder, which they were sharing with the other birds. In the below photo the male bluebird is waiting in line while the Red-bellied Woodpecker is feeding. I’ve been putting up nest boxes and hosting bluebirds for over 30 years now, and I have to say I never fail to stop what I am doing and enjoy their presence whenever I see or hear one. Bluebirds need to nest in a cavity and have a hard time finding a suitable site without human help. They also sometimes roost in the nest boxes so I leave them up year round.

woodpecker and bluebird

woodpecker and bluebird

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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11 Responses to Harvest Monday December 25, 2017

  1. Michelle says:

    Roasted radishes, what a great idea. I’m hoping that my daikon radishes recover from the vole attacks and don’t bolt because of the wild swings in temperature that we’ve been experiencing. That chili looks delicious and it seems that it was easy to make in the Instant Pot.

    The birds are so beautiful. We have Western Bluebirds here but I have never seen them around my house or garden but some friends just a half mile away see them every year.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Michelle recently posted…The Garden on December 15, 2017My Profile

  2. Joy says:

    Such a wide range of veg to harvest. Quite a few people around me grow kohlrabi but I have never really known what to do with it. Roasting it sounds like a great idea.

  3. Confession – I’ve never actually grown (or even eaten) kohlrabi. But shhhh, don’t tell the others… I don’t want to lose what little street cred (garden cred?) that I have on here. 😉

    Always a pleasure to see what’s growing in your garden, and here’s to wishing you a 2018 of harvests even more bountiful than the last. Happy holidays!

  4. Jane Strong says:

    Dave, I’m glad to hear about the beans in the instant pot. Rancho Gordo is great but expensive. More than 5USD for a pound of beans? But yeah, I’ve bought lots from them. Chili is the perfect food for this time of year. My mouth is watering looking at yours.
    Jane Strong recently posted…Welcoming the Winter Solstice with HydrometeorsMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I agree, the RG beans are expensive. But the commodity beans we have around here at the grocery are so old, and the variety is so limited, having great beans makes up for it.

  5. Kathy says:

    Merry Christmas Dave! Always enjoy seeing your harvests, so thank you for sharing the photos, and those of the birds in your garden.

  6. Margaret says:

    The bluebird is lovely – I have yet to see one in our yard, although woodpeckers are a common sight at the feeders, especially in the winter. And such beautifully fresh, yummy greens…we are enjoying our frozen stash while it lasts which, unfortunately, won’t be that long this year.
    Margaret recently posted…2017 – Year in ReviewMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      We’ve been in the deep freeze for a few days now, and I’m not sure how many of the greens will survive, even in the greenhouse!

  7. It’s another colourful week for your meals Dave (and lovely colourful birds visiting your garden) plus it’s great to hear the instant pot is working well for you….25 mins for unsoaked beans is excellent. I bought a huge bag of black turtle beans earlier this year but haven’t got round to using any yet, and a recipe like this would go down a treat (I will probably use our slow cooker).

    I was a bit poorly over Christmas (just a head cold) so didn’t write a post this week but look forward to joining in with Michelle in January. Thanks for all your time and cheerfulness put in to hosting this year 😀
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday – winteryMy Profile

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