I harvested a lot of lettuce last week. Almost seven pounds of lettuce, in fact. Now, we eat a lot of salads, but there’s no way we can eat that much lettuce! So I took five pounds of it into the soup kitchen last Tuesday. We’ve got a lot more that needs to be harvested, so I plan on taking another batch in this week. I had several nice big plants of the Radichetta and Multy varieties that I donated.
See, most of the fresh vegetables we get at the kitchen are given to us by local groceries, and aren’t really “fresh” at all, since it’s stuff that has to be pulled because it’s no longer suitable for sale. We pick through big boxes of veggies, throw away what’s bad, and try and salvage as much as we can for use. In summer, folks like me bring in extras from their gardens, which makes for a nice break from the usual canned vegetables.
The asparagus continues to produce well, giving us 2.5 pounds that we used in various ways, including some I wrapped in prosciutto ham and then baked. Total harvest so far is almost 10 pounds, which is about what we got last year. We still have about 2 weeks of harvesting left, so it looks like we will easily surpass last year’s totals.
I also got the first harvests of curly endive and kohlrabi. I’m growing the purple kohlrabi Kolibri and a green one called Winner. Kohlrabi is a vegetable not familiar to some gardeners, but it is easy to grow in cool weather and fast maturing. I sowed seeds indoors in February, the same time I sowed early broccoli and cabbage, and set the transplants out on March 20th.
The swollen stem is the edible part, which is peeled and can be eaten raw or cooked, though some people do eat the young leaves cooked. The flavor is very mild, like a cross between turnips and cabbage. It is best when it is harvested small, about 2-3″ in diameter, since older ones tend to get tough and stringy. We eat a lot of it raw with a yogurt dip, but it’s good cooked as well. I usually prepare it like I would turnips, sliced and simmered, but I will be looking for more creative uses this year since I planted more of it than usual (24 plants). The 3 in the photo below weighed 17 oz.
Slugs did a little damage to the skin, but it didn’t hurt the kohlrabi any. I guess I need to reapply Sluggo sooner next time.
The curly endive is a green I like in small doses in salads. I blanch the heart by slipping a 4″ bottomless plastic flower pot over the whole plant about 2-3 weeks before harvest. That keeps the stems and leaves from turning green, and makes them less bitter. You can just put a larger pot over the whole plant to blanch it.
I also pulled the last of the spinach. We got about 2 pounds of it this week, and 14 pounds over the entire season. That surely more than covered the cost of the seeds, plus I still have enough seed left to plant a fall/winter crop. I put another bag in the freezer, and the last bit went into a bacon, spinach and dried tomato frittata.
I harvested radishes and scallions as needed, and stir-fried a little over a pound of tatsoi for a side dish. I got about 5 ounces of little spears from the Apollo broccoli, which resembles broccolini. All that made for the largest harvest week so far in 2010 with a total of 15.8 pounds.
For more gardener’s harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions and see what’s growing!