Lots of crunchy vegetables are coming in right now. Like the April Cross daikon radishes. I’ll probably ferment some of those in the below photo for crunchy pickles. A little bit of them went on a salad yesterday, and I also plan to use some in a stir-fry. The one on the left was hard to dig up and the root end of it snapped off and was left in the ground. The soil is getting dry and I should have soaked it first to make digging easier. The three radishes weighed a little over two pounds.
Speaking of fermented radishes, I’ve been enjoying the batch I did a couple of weeks ago. The pink and purple from the radishes turned the brine from clear to pinkish, and then made the radishes themselves pink. They have a nice, salty crunch to them and a mildly fermented flavor that will get better as they age. At least until they are gone, which may be soon if I keep on eating them!
Another crunchy vegetable we’ve been enjoying is kohlrabi. That’s the green skinned Winner along with the purple Kolibri in the below photo, along with a couple of the Starburst watermelon radishes on the right. My wife roasted some of the Kolibri one night and it was delicious (but camera shy).
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making crackers again, so last week I baked up a batch of King Arthur’s Crunchy Crackers. They are indeed crunchy, as well as seeded with sunflower, flax and sesame seeds. This particular recipe uses about 50% white whole wheat, and included yeast for leavening. The dough is rolled out thin, then the seeds are sprinkled on and pressed in with a rolling pin. I also want to try other whole grain cracker recipes without leavening, and ultimately make some using whole grain spelt flour. These are disappearing faster than the radishes though, and I like to spread a little garlic scape pesto on them for a snack.
Speaking of seeded, I went ahead and planted the tepary beans. I decided to try a test planting of two varieties, Sacaton Brown and Blue Speckled. I’m using a remesh tomato cage to give the Blue Speckled support, and I’ll put up a trellis for the Sacaton Brown.
In other news, blueberries are ripening now. Last year the season lasted from mid-June until early August. My wife is in charge of harvesting these, and she barely got to rest up from her daily cutting of asparagus until the blueberries started rolling in.
The blueberries are joining the raspberries every morning on our Homemade Dry Toasted Muesli. I am harvesting the raspberries, which won’t go on nearly as long as the blueberry season. That’s my breakfast most mornings, muesli soaked in a little almond or coconut milk and topped with lots of fresh fruit.
A few of the earliest maturing garlic varieties have started flopping over, so I dug one to see how it was doing. I wound up digging all of two turban varieties, Red Janice and Maiskij. That’s Red Janice in the below photo, which has been a big producer here since I first planted it back in 2011. Based on how these two are doing, I will no doubt be digging more of the early types soon.
I also pulled up a few carrots to see how they are doing. Unlike the garlic they are not quite ready yet, at least not the Mokum or Purple Haze you can see in the below photo. They were edible though, and went on salads we had yesterday. Of course this is what baby carrots REALLY look like, not those awful things that pass for baby carrots in the grocery.
Fortunately there was a lot more lettuce than there were carrots for the salad! I’ve done a pretty decent job of planting lettuce periodically, and we have had plenty of it for the last couple of months. What’s planted now has to deal with the heat, so it will be mainly crisphead varieties plus something like Slobolt which usually does well this time of year. That’s Red Sails in the below photo, not colored up real well but still tasty. And it’s hanging out in a small Cesto Tubtrug, which is what I’ve been using for a harvest basket lately.
On a sad note, a male House Sparrow trashed all the bluebird eggs from the nest last Thursday. He pecked them out and dropped them near the base of the support pole. Hopefully the bluebirds will be willing to give it another try this year. We will see. At least they didn’t kill live babies, which I have seen the house sparrows do on more than one occasion.
I’ll close with happier news. Last month I said we would get ‘a handful’ of gooseberries. They must have been hiding from me back then, because when I started picking them yesterday the little bushes were loaded with berries. I wound up with over 1.5 pounds of them, enough for a pie and then some! They are a mix of Amish Red, Captivator and Hinnomaki Red. I tasted them all and while they each have a slightly different flavor, I can’t say which I prefer just yet. I also planted Invicta this year since it gets good marks from Daphne. For cooking I like to use mostly green berries, with a few pinkish ones mixed in. A few of these got really ripe so I will pick them out and eat them raw or else mix them with the currants which are also about ready to harvest.
To see what other gardeners are showing off and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from HA.