After a dry spell that lasted a couple of months, we are harvesting here again. Spinach from the cold frame made its way into our salad bowls this week. There will be more to come, and from the greenhouse as well. I love fresh spinach, what more can I say! It’s mostly the Giant Winter variety in the below photo, which is one of our reliable and tasty favorites.
Some of the spinach also found its way onto a pita pizza, along with some arugula. We used some of our roasted Roma tomatoes (from the freezer) on one pizza for a chunky sauce, while the other one had some garlic and herb infused olive oil for a base. We used our Whole Grain Spelt Pita Bread for the crust.
There’s no sign of asparagus yet, but we have plenty left in the freezer from 2013 that needs to be eaten. I made a frittata with some of it, adding some dehydrated tomatoes after soaking them in water to rehydrate. I thawed the asparagus first, and then added it and the tomatoes to the pan with onions and mushrooms and cooked for a bit before before adding the eggs and a little Parmesan cheese. It will likely be a couple of weeks before the first spears of 2014 make their way up from the ground, and that will be cause for celebration here too.
I also grilled some sweet potatoes for dinner one night. Grilling is one of my favorite ways to prepare sweet potatoes, and the mix of purple and orange made for a tasty and colorful treat. I tossed them with a little olive oil and ground cumin before cooking.
I cooked up some of last year’s Rattlesnake beans, and then refried them to go with a meal of turkey tacos. The beans were great tasting fixed this way. Rattlesnake is a dual-purpose pole bean that is good as both a snap bean and a dry bean. It’s also known for doing well in areas with hot and humid summers, which pretty well describes the southern Ohio Valley that we live in. I did a Saturday Spotlight on it last year which has more photos and information.
We’re getting ready for the return of bees here at HA. We have a nuc ordered, which we should be able to pickup sometime next month. Bees are in short supply this year, due to high losses last winter, so we were lucky to locate some. My wife has lent her artistic talents to the hive painting. I think it looks great, and with those pastel colors it’s already decorated for Easter! We will start with only one of the deep boxes (blue), and add the others as the colony grows. It will be nice to have honeybees around again, and I am excited about my wife getting into beekeeping along with me.
I found time to do some transplanting in the last few days. Saturday I worked on petunias and peppers. The Wave petunias were started about 3 weeks ago, and they have made great progress in that time. Starting them yourself is an economical way to get lots of them, and not all that difficult. I wrote a piece called Do The Wave back in 2010 that outlines how I grow them from seed. The red petunias are a hummingbird magnet, and I always plant some in the Wild Garden for that very reason. The Wild Garden is an area where we plant things of interest to bees and pollinators, butterflies, hummingbirds and other birds.
My little widger comes in handy at transplanting time. I use it to prick out the seedlings and put them in their new quarters. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply also calls them a nitpicker, but whatever you call it, I use mine all the time, especially this time of year. These little petunias will take off now that they have a little more room. In a couple of weeks I will pot them up one more time into individual 3.5″ or 4″ pots.
That’s a recap of what’s happening here, and a look at what we are doing with some of our harvests both new and old. To see what others are harvesting or cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts the Harvest Monday series.
Fresh spinach. How wonderful. I was looking at my overwintered spinach that finally melted out. It is looking pretty sad right now, though I know it will perk up when the temperatures get higher.
Fresh spinach sounds absolutely divine! Congrats on breaking that dry spell! I also have to say that your grilled sweet potatoes look like a slice of Heaven! I have never even though of putting sweet potatoes on the grill! I may need to get out a little more often 😉
I have been looking up information on beekeeping and attended a seminar on bees a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to your post on this subject. I learn a lot from your blog and I enjoy reading it. Thanks