Harvest Monday: Garlic, Squash, and a Marsupial

When I went to check on the garlic beds yesterday I was shocked to find that some of it was ready to be dug. It’s exactly two weeks before I started digging last year, but then I remembered that I had waited too long for a couple of varieties. Not surprisingly, those were two of the ones ready now. I’m glad I checked on them when I did.

The varieties harvested are all hardnecks, and either Asiatic or Turban varieties. From left to right we have Uzbek, Japanese, Xian and Chinese Pink. The Xian and Uzbek were two of my best performers last year, coming in right behind Music and Lorz Italian in terms of harvest weight. For reference, the plastic labels are 5″ long, and these bulbs are all about 2″ in diameter. I’ll weigh them after they have dried and I can trim them up.

Of course weight isn’t everything when it comes to garlic (or other foods). Taste and keeping quality are also very important. The ones I harvested get a plus for being early, but they don’t keep as long as some of the other varieties. I am hoping in the next year or two I will be able to figure out which kinds of garlic we want to grow, and then cut back on the number of varieties. My wife is skeptical on me cutting back on anything having to do with gardening!

I used up the last of the garlic scapes to make another batch of pesto, which went on a pita pizza this week. We also made one with basil pesto (store bought). The garlic pesto one was my favorite, and it also featured some of our local bacon and some 2009 dried tomatoes. It’s the one on the right. We were too hungry that day to wait for photos after baking!

Another thing we made with pitas was some dessert pizza, featuring our fresh strawberries, blueberries and black raspberries. I spread the pita with a sweetened yogurt cheese and ricotta mixture, then topped it with the berries and some whipped cream. The jury is still out on using pitas for the crust, but the flavor was heavenly. Neither of us felt like baking shortbread.

pita dessert pizza

Another thing we made with our harvest this week was some refrigerator pickles. I guess you could call them marinated cucumbers, since most of them were only around for a few hours before they were eaten.

I picked over 7 pounds of summer squash, as all the plants seemed to produce several squash at once. The striped zucchini is Striata D’Italia, an heirloom and one of my favorites. We donated about 4 pounds of the squash to the Potters Wheel food pantry, which is where we took the first harvest from the church garden.

The marsupial ‘harvested’ this week is an opossum, and not the first to find its way into the trap. I can’t say for certain what crops it might have gotten into, but my guess would be ALL of them! We had real problems with possums last year at the MG food pantry garden, where they pretty well ate all the melon crop before we were able to relocate them. This one was much happier when I set it loose in the ‘retirement village’, which is several miles away from HA.

I got a nice head of Tendersweet cabbage this week. It cooked in no time, seasoned with a little butter, salt and pepper. These heads are a great size for the two of us, weighing in at around 2 pounds each. It’s a flathead type.


Tendersweet cabbage

We also continued to harvest broccoli and lettuce, as well as a head of cauliflower and some scallions. The total harvest for the week was 22 pounds, not counting the garlic or the possum.

Not helping a bit were the two girl cats, seen here enjoying the cool tile floor in the kitchen. Puddin on the left couldn’t even be bothered to wake up, while Shel did at least glare at me a bit.


idle cats

For more gardener’s harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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