The harvest this week is the biggest of the year so far, and the color of most of the foods is still green, with maybe a little red thrown in from lettuce.
We had 2.5 pounds of green asparagus, 1.4 pounds of Asian greens (mainly komatsuna and choy sum), and 1.4 pounds of spinach. We’ve been eating the asparagus grilled and stir fried, while I froze the spinach for later use.
We’ve really enjoyed the spinach this year. About half in the greenhouse has started bolting, but notably the Space variety (which was planted first) is not bolting yet. I’ll have to plant more of that in the future. The Gigante Inverno in the greenhouse is bolting, but a second planting outside in the cold frame is still producing. It’s big tender leaves make it a keeper as well. The Spargo did well also, but the red-stemmed Bordeaux variety I tried really wasn’t worth it, except for the novelty factor. With the harvest at about 9 pounds so far, we have more than paid for the price of the seed, and there’s plenty of seed left to try for a fall crop.
For those unfamiliar with choy sum (or yu choy), it is a name given to several brassicas that are grown for the flowering shoots. I am growing the yellow flowered variety right now, though I have seed for a purple flowered variety too. The slender stalks are harvested just as the first flowers are opening.
The main stem of the plant is harvested first. Side shoots will then develop and these can also be harvested. This was the first time I got enough choy sum to fix by itself. The amount was still small, only a few ounces, but enough to make a side dish for lunch one day.
I tied the stalks in a bundle and put it in the steamer basket along with some sliced mushrooms. It was ready after steaming for 3-4 minutes.
I dressed it with a little sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. It made for a very delicate, mild tasting side dish. (How lucky I am to have a wife who doesn’t blink an eye at a camera on a tripod perched over the stove!)
The lettuce I planted in early March is going crazy now, and we harvested enough to share with friends this week. It’s the same old cast of characters here, varieties like Radichetta, Salad Bowl, Ruby and Multy. I did take one photo of a Multy plant that had been grown in a window box. It’s a little lopsided from being crowded by the other lettuces, but it shows how easy lettuce is to grow – even in a pot!
And I used scissors to make the first harvest of the Spicy Mesclun mix from another window box. Hopefully I can get another couple of cuttings from this mix before it runs out of steam.
So all in all, a mostly green harvest this week of 7.8 lbs.
To see other gardeners’ harvests, or to add your own, visit Harvest Monday at Daphne’s Dandelions.