Harvest Monday May 23, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The rainy and cool spring weather we have been having have certainly made the early veggies grow, but they have put me way behind schedule in getting things planted. Hopefully we are entering a dry spell for a few days and I can play catch-up in the garden. Meanwhile, I began cutting the lushly growing spring planted lettuce last week. I started with Radichetta, a tall growing oak leaf type that I’ve grown for years.

Radichetta lettuce

Radichetta lettuce

Radichetta looks a bit like a chicory, but the taste is mild and the leaves have a crunchy midrib much like a romaine lettuce. To me it looks and tastes like other oak leaf lettuces, but it is much more upright in growth, more like a romaine. That lets me plant it closely together. The plants also get quite large, though I cut this one before it was full-sized. I did a Spotlight on Radichetta a couple of years ago and it’s on my growing list every year.

leaves of Radichetta lettuce

leaves of Radichetta lettuce

I also cut newcomers Tall Oaks and Big Flame. Neither of these lettuce were quite full sized either, though the Tall Oaks weighed in a bit over 10 ounces. I planted all the lettuce fairly close together, and taking out some of them should give the remaining plants a bit more room to size up.

Tall Oaks lettuce

Tall Oaks lettuce

I harvested more garlic scapes from the early varieties. This batch came from Shilla and Uzbek. Some of these went into a mixed stir-fry, and some are destined for Daphne’s Garlic Scape Dressing. I still have the rocambole varieties like German Red and Russian Red that haven’t made scapes yet, though it shouldn’t be much longer.

harvest of garlic scapes

harvest of garlic scapes

Oregon Sugar Pod 2 snow peas joined the Sugar Ann snap peas in the harvest basket this week. Well, there weren’t enough to need a basket, since they easily fit in my hand! These wound up with the garlic scapes and some asparagus in a stir fry I made last week. We also enjoyed another batch on a salad, where they (and some raw asparagus) added crunch.

snow and snap peas

snow and snap peas

Speaking of asparagus, the cold and wet weather slowed it down a bit last week. We’ll probably cut it for one more week, then that will be it for the season. I used some of it in a pasta dish I whipped up last week, using garlic scape pesto as a sauce and baked tofu for protein. I’ve made this before with chicken or shrimp, and the tofu made for a lovely meatless version. I don’t really follow a recipe for this, and I make it with whole wheat pasta and whatever pesto is in season, be it made with garlic scapes, parsley or basil. The asparagus and garlic scapes are usually ready about the same time every year, so that combo is a common one here. There’s a bit of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in there as well. We don’t eat a lot of pasta anymore so this was a real treat.

Tofu Pesto Pasta

Tofu Pesto Pasta

Another real treat last week were some baked sweet potato ‘fries’ I made using one of the 2015 Purple sweet potatoes. In a week or so it will be time to set out this year’s slips, but in the meantime we are still enjoying last year’s bounty. I cut up the sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil and a bit of salt, then bake in a hot oven until crispy.

purple sweet potato fries

purple sweet potato fries

I got a lot of prep work done in the garden yesterday, and today I hope to get the squashes planted. After that, it’s on to more prep work, then planting the paste tomatoes, eggplant, pole beans, peppers, and cucumbers. I’ll finish up planting the summer garden when the sweet potato slips I ordered from Sand Hill Preservation Center arrive. The slips I started myself (Purple and Bonita) should be ready to plant any time, once I get the bed ready for them. I normally wait until the first week of June to plant them, which will give them plenty of time to grow before the first frost of fall arrives.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

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12 Responses to Harvest Monday May 23, 2016

  1. Mark Willis says:

    The nice thing about growing your own veg is that you can always make use of the odd handful of something, without having to buy a pound of it at the shops, so a few peas are actually worthwhile! Like you, I grow my lettuces very densely-spaced, which allows me to have more variety in my limited space. There are so many interesting varieties to grow! I have grown one a little bit like your Radichetta, but with red tips to the leaves – it’s called Cocarde. A very substantial lettuce that stands up well to a strong salad-dressing.

  2. Phuong says:

    Wow, your lettuces are gigantic and they look delicious. Ah, this would’ve been the perfect year to plant peas but I missed the boat on that one. They’re just so good fresh out of the garden.

    I’ve been out planting all weekend, the only things left are peppers, winter squash, and melons.

  3. Susie says:

    I love the shape of those lettuce leaves. I still don’t have many greens myself, probably a couple more weeks.

    Do rocambole garlic often have scapes arrive later than other varieties or is it just because you planted them later? I am growing rocambole variety for the first time so just wondering.

    I won’t bother posting anything today but I did harvest some rhubarb!

    • Dave says:

      In my garden at least, the rocambole types mature after the turban types do, and that includes putting up scapes. I planted all the garlic at the same time, but it will be ready to dig over about a 2-3 week period.

  4. David Velten says:

    I like the looks of the Radichetta. Oak leaf lettuces are one of the types I don’t grow. I’ll have to try them next year.

  5. I really enjoyed your linked Saturday Spotlight. I’m always looking for things that can be “densely planted”, so this one was especially useful. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for all the introductions to lettuce. Radichetta looks like one I should try. Upright for close spacing lets me pack them between cabbage family transplants. Enjoyed going back to the linked post. Thanks, as always for an informative post. Gorgeous snap and snow peas. I agree with another comment about small harvests.

  7. Margaret says:

    Peas – yum yum – and that lettuce looks amazing! I’m so looking forward to getting fresh lettuce from the garden again. It seems to just sit there for a while after being transplanted, but I think that it is finally getting to the point where it will put on some good growth really quickly.

  8. Michelle says:

    I’ve probably noted this before, the Radichetta looks a lot like the Italienischer lettuce that I’ve been growing (and loving). I should start some for my next round of lettuces. Wish I had a handful or 2 of snap or snow peas, I didn’t get around to a spring sowing. But I do have some regular peas going, my first attempt at them in years, and I might be getting a harvest in a couple of weeks. Purple sweet potato fries, big yum!

  9. Yes, the lettuce is gorgeous. Mine are just about ready to plant out when I get chance, and fingers crossed some survive the slugs. I’ve tried to be organised and sown some more tonight.
    It’s a good tip to plant them close together then harvest intermediates first, thanks.

  10. Lexa says:

    I sure appreciate your “spotlight” series that you do. It is such a great resource to hear all about a variety. MY 3 hardneck garlics have yet to send up scapes, but you have me thinking that it is only a matter of time. I went to Daphne’s website and printed off the salad dressing recipe. I have made garlic scape pesto which I enjoy but am looking for new things to try with them. Have a great – and hopefully dry – gardening week!

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