Early June Harvests

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!


bowl of cherries

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.


Asian green Vitamin Green

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.


radicchio, kohlrabi and lettuce

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.


shredded chicken taco

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.


Ruby Red chard


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.


freshly harvested garlic scapes

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.

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20 Responses to Early June Harvests

  1. Diana says:

    Very happy healthy harvest you got there. Beautiful red cherries!

  2. Marcia says:

    You’ve gone beyond the greens for your harvest this past week. I hope when I get home that there will be scapes for me to harvest. I want to try the pesto.

  3. kitsapFG says:

    I am totally envious of those cherries and the berries you are already able to pick. Our harvest of those items is quite far off at the moment. The chard is really beautiful. Such a pretty plant.

  4. The chard is so beautiful! I am missing Daphne’s garlic scape dressing this year :/ My garlic didn’t procude for some reason!

  5. Megan says:

    Those cherries are so beautifully red, and that chicken taco makes me hungry NOW! Nice harvest!

  6. johanna says:

    For a second, I thought those were cherry tomatoes. The chard is beautiful and usually my first crop. i was so late in planting and with the rain that we had, everything is behind schedule. My first year for garlic so I am sure to try that garlic scape dressing. Would love to know how you make the pesto.

  7. Thomas says:

    Homegrown cherries – yet another item on my wishlist. Great harvest, Villager! That chicken taco looks sooo good. Now I know what I’m getting for lunch.

  8. Wowee – what a terrific harvest already! Bummer about the strawberries, but it will be fun to try a new variety and also to make some room for rhubarb. That chard looks fantastic – ours are still small here. The cherries win the prize in my book, though! It must be exciting to bring all these things in…Spring was so long and cold and wet and strange, it must finally really feel like summer to you when you’re starting to collect produce from the garden – congrats!

  9. michelle says:

    Beautiful cherries, I love the sight of them nestled in their pretty green bowl. I’m experimenting with a spring grown Treviso type radicchio this year also, so far so good, they are appreciating our cooler than usual spring, uh summer, even if I’m not…

  10. I’m always impressed with how far ahead of us you are. So much for California weather 😉 Our blueberries aren’t ready yet, and neither is our first crop of cherries. Oh well, something to look forward too. That chicken taco looks delish!

  11. Lynda says:

    Ahhhh, Cherries! Yours are just lovely!

  12. What a great harvest for the week. And what a lucky kitcehn to receive the excess chard – 5.5 lbs. is quite a bit for two people.. The cherries certainly are exciting 🙂

  13. Barbie says:

    Cherries – Oh mY! Color me jealous. Definately not something we get here. I’ve planted 2 different variety of ‘cherry type’ trees just trying to get something close.

  14. Debbie Clegg says:

    Harvest looks great! I think I will plant a different type garlic next year so that I can enjoy some scapes.

  15. Robin says:

    Oh those cherries look yummy! Your wife said she knew you were a keeper when you told her about your cherries 🙂

    I see that you let your kohlrabi get bigger then I did. This was the first time that I grew it and was afraid to let it get too big. I had read that it can get tough when it gets too big. I guess maybe I should have let them grow a bit more.

  16. Shawn Ann says:

    I mentioned planting a cherry tree to replace a tree we need to remove the other day, and dh didn’t seem too thrilled about the possible upkeep! I hope he comes around. I need to do my research. Those are very pretty that you have!

  17. Daphne says:

    I love chard. It is such a tasty plant (well I hate the stems, but love the leaves). And it is such a workhorse. It produces so much all year long.

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