Our early June harvests are definitely showing a nice variety of homegrown goodies – many for the first time this year. This is one time when change really is good! Our first “new thing” this month was kohlrabi. Winner and Kolibri are ones I’ve grown for years and are dependable producers here. Those first two kohlrabis of the season in the photo below have been followed by a steady stream of others that are harvested as needed. I planted more than usual this year, about thirty plants, so we should have plenty. Kohlrabi is such an easy to grow vegetable, and it really shines here in both spring and fall. It’s too bad that more people aren’t aware of it.
The Kossak kohlrabi is new here, and it’s a giant variety that can get up to 8″ in diameter and still not be woody. Johnny’s Selected Seeds says it will keep several months in storage. I’ll have to grow some this fall to see about its keeping qualities. The first one this year was harvested at about 4″ in size and was consumed the same day! I’ll let some grow larger now and see how they taste. All the kohlrabi we’ve harvested so far have been sliced up and eaten raw with a little Tahini Yogurt Sauce for dipping. But I will cook some too as the season progresses.
I also harvested our first green beans, from the Purple Queen variety. It was just enough for a taste. The vines are loaded with beans and blossoms though, and I should get a nice picking later this week. And the Rocdor wax beans are blooming too, so they should be ready next.
Some of the earliest maturing garlic is starting to get brown leaves down low, so I thought I would dig one and see how it was doing. The Chinese Purple is an early variety, and the one in the photo above weighed 1 ounce after cutting off the roots and top. It was very juicy and garlicky, and most of it wound up in the Tahini Yogurt Sauce. I truly love fresh dug garlic! I’m guessing it will be a couple of weeks before the garlic is really brown enough to start digging. We’ve still got some of the 2011 garlic in storage, but it is nice to have fresh.
The garlic scapes have pretty much all been harvested. Some went into salad dressing, and some went into pesto. All have been thoroughly enjoyed. Talk about a homegrown, seasonal treat! We’ve hauled in about 2 pounds of them this year.
June brought us the first big harvest of carrots. 2012 looks to be a much better year for carrots than 2011. It is worth the extra effort to grow carrots, though they are surely not the easiest vegetable to grow by any means. The varieties ready now are Yaya and Mokum. We cooked them up with just a little butter and honey added and they were delicious.
Speaking of honey, we’re gearing up for the first ever honey harvest here at Happy Acres. I think that will deserve its own post. Let me just say we could be having a sticky good time here real soon! And my wife and I are both pretty excited about that. Go bees!
Lettuce isn’t a new thing in June, but a repeat visitor that we have almost 12 months of the year. The varieties planted have held up to the heat so far. That’s Slobolt, New Red Fire and Red Sails in the below photo. Those leaves wound up in a wilted lettuce salad – one of my very favorite things. The salad went well with a meal of burgers and potato salad.
Did I say potato salad? Yes! We got some nice potatoes from the garden too. I had intended to steal a few without digging the whole plant but the first one I grabbed was so big, I figured I might as well pull one plant and see what I could get. What I got was just over 2 pounds of lovely Red Lasoda taters. These low-starch potatoes are great for boiling, and they hold their shape well for salads. I’m looking forward to digging some of the Russian Banana fingerlings today for some German fried potatoes. That variety is also good for roasting.
And if all that wasn’t exciting enough, I harvested the first summer squash of the season on Saturday. The little yellow one wound up in a frittata we had yesterday for lunch. The zucchinis are next in line for harvesting.
And I can’t forget to mention the great blueberries. We’ve been enjoying them for about 3 weeks now, and so far we’ve gotten about 7 quarts of them. We’re freezing many of them for use later, but they are so good fresh! I really enjoy them with some homemade yogurt for breakfast. We’ve still got some of last year’s crop in the freezer, and I think they are going to wind up in some blueberry muffins.
That’s a look at what we’re harvesting here in early June. To see what others from around the world are harvesting, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Mondays.