I guess the star of the harvest this week has to be the cherries. The crop this year wasn’t as good as last years, but we were happy to get almost two pounds of them. It is possible the oldest tree, where most of the cherries came from, has gotten into the cycle of bearing heavy one year, and light the next. Hopefully the two newer trees we planted will come into their own soon and start giving us a decent crop of cherries. Waiting for fruit trees is never easy for me!
Also in the fruit department, we’re starting to get small harvests of both blueberries and black raspberries. The strawberry crop was a bust this year. The drought and heat last year pretty much did in the plants. I replanted two of three beds this year with Jewel and Seascape strawberry plants. I’m going to take out the third bed to make room for some red raspberries and a rhubarb patch.
I harvested some tatsoi and Vitamin Green this week for a stir fry side dish. The jury is still out on the Vitamin Green. It is easy to grow, and prolific, but the taste is rather mild, much like a white stemmed pak choi (which it resembles). The two greens were good mixed together. I got the Vitamin Green seeds last year from Johnny’s, and I doubt I will grow this one again, prolific or not.
I also got the first head of radicchio this year. This one was Tauro, a hybrid Castelfranco type that Johnny’s Seeds used to carry but dropped a few years back. I used up the last of my 2007 seed, so this will be the last year to harvest this beauty. I’m testing a couple of open pollinated varieties (Castelfranco and Variegata di Lusia) from Seeds from Italy this spring as possible replacements. Radicchio is much easier to grow here in fall, but I like it enough to give it some space in spring as well. I’ve really come to appreciate the bitter taste of radicchio, at least in small doses. The Castelfranco types are shades of pink, white and green inside. I’m also growing the more familiar red and white type, but those are not quite ready yet.
Hanging out with the head of radicchio in the photo above is the first 2011 kohlrabi, the tasty purple Kolibri. Also in the photo is some Lingua di Canarino (Canary Tongue) lettuce. Another lettuce gracing our plates this week was the mild and crunchy Deer Tongue, some of which wound up on our shredded chicken tacos and in our taco salad. I need to post the recipe for the shredded chicken, since it is easy to make and one of our favorites for tacos and burritos.
Another star producer this week was the chard. My wife still doesn’t like it quite as much as I do, so Tuesday I took about 4 pounds of it into the kitchen where I volunteer. The Ruby Red chard looks a lot like rhubarb, which led one of the other volunteers to say “Oooh, you brought us some rhubarb!”. I guess I could have easily moved some rhubarb had I brought it, but our potted plants are still waiting to go in the ground. The chard, however, is going nuts. I harvested 5.5 pounds of it this week alone.
And I can’t forget the garlic scapes. Ahhhh, what a treat! We got 1.25 pounds of them this week, with a few more out there to be harvested in a couple of days. I froze one batch of pesto, and we’ve been eating the other batch like crazy. I’m wanting to make Daphne’s Garlic Scape Dressing with some of the remaining ones.
That’s a look at what we’re harvesting here at Happy Acres in June. We hauled in about 11.5 pounds last week. For more harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Mondays.