Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I’ll start off with the one of the smallest things we grow here. Our one Cherry Red currant bush is loaded with currants this year. Though they are small in size, they make up for it in sheer numbers! So far we have been enjoying them on our breakfast muesli, and I made an apple and currant crisp one night for a dessert treat. When most are ripe I’ll do a mass harvest and freeze some for later use.
The lettuce I planted in the cold frame beds is getting a little long in the tooth, with maybe half of the plants starting to bolt. One not bolting yet is the Tall Oaks Mix. I made a cutting of it last week which we used in various salads.
The visually striking Pele lettuce was starting to bolt, so I cut the last remaining plants. It and the Tall Oaks came from Wild Garden Seeds, and I have really enjoyed both of these new lettuce varieties. They’ll no doubt be back for a fall planting.
I pulled more of the kohlrabi from the cold frame bed. Konan and Kolibri continue to give us nice sized, tender and crisp kohlrabies. A couple of those in the below photo made a nice raw side dish. We usually make a yogurt dipping sauce for kohlrabi, but this time we skipped it so we could let the flavor of the kohlrabi shine.
I used the other three kohlrabies to make a quart jar of kohlrabi kraut. This is so easy, I can’t believe I didn’t make this years ago! I shredded the kohlrabi, skin and all, on a medium grater then mixed with sea salt. After a minute or so of mixing, the salt started releasing the juice from the kohlrabi, and I packed it in a wide-mouth quart jar. I used about a tablespoon of salt, or 2% salt by weight for the kraut. I usually start tasting it after about four days, and in our warm summer kitchen it is usually ready for the refrigerator in less than a week. It was bubbly in a little over 24 hours, which is a sign that the Lactobacillus bacteria are doing their thing.
Since I have become fascinated with lacto-fermentation of late (some would say obsessed), I grew some Napa cabbage this spring in hopes of making my first ever kimchi. I only set out two plants, one each of Soloist and Little Jade, since I have better luck growing them here as a fall crop. The Soloist got eaten up pretty badly by slugs, as you can see in the below photo. It weighed in at exactly two pounds, including the holey outer leaves.
But after stripping away the outer leaves, and sending a couple of slugs down the drain, the head still weighed 1-1/2 pounds and didn’t look too bad at all. It was just the right size to make a quart of kimchi.
I needed a bit of onion for the kimchi, and found a Red Torpedo Tropea just the right size too. I had planted my leftover Dixondale seedlings in a window box planter, and they are past the scallion stage and now spring onion sized.
Unlike the white kimchi I recently made, I made this batch of kimchi with some dried red pepper added. I used about a Tbsp of my dried Aji Angelo peppers, mixed up with several cloves of Silver White garlic and some grated ginger in the food processor to make a paste. I brined the chopped cabbage for about four hours, using a 3.5% brine solution I made with 3 Tbsp sea salt dissolved in dechlorinated water. After draining the cabbage, I mixed it with coarsely grated daikon radish and carrot, plus the chopped Red Torpedo Tropea onion. I massaged the red pepper/garlic/ginger paste in with my hands, then packed the kimchi in a quart jar. I used one of the outer leaves to cover the kimchi in the jar and help keep it submerged under the liquid. It too was bubbly after 24 hours, and I will taste test it after a few days.
Last week I found a few more garlic scapes, from the softneck silverskin Silver White no less. Some softnecks occasionally throw up scapes, and I was happy to have a few more to harvest. I also continue to get a nice handful (or two) of snow peas every couple of days. The heat is slowly doing the vines in though, so I doubt they will be around much longer.
The last harvest was a bit of basil and arugula leaves I found for a pizza we made Saturday night. My wife was drooling over the one I made for myself last week, and decided to close out her tour of cooking with another one. It’s more of the Adagio arugula, and mostly Profuma di Genova basil.
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!
You are living in our future. Our redcurrants are just starting to turn red so I have closed up their cage or the birds will strip them.
Peas are still a distant dream.
What a wonderful harvest you have this week. Those currants look so good, I hope my new currant bush yields even a handful for me to try this year.
You sure do like your fermentation – great work on the kimchi!
Such pretty red currants. I too am having problem with slugs and seems more so this year, I think it is because of the leaf mulch I am using giving them a home to live and multiply.
Nice harvest. That kimchi looks delicious, waiting to hear about the taste test. That was a nice Napa you used but looking at the slug damage, I realized its time to apply some more Sluggo. And kohlrabi kraut is definitely in my future.
You’re still getting lots of variety from your spring crops. I’ve never had currants before so they sound interesting. And the kraut and kimchi look really good.
I’m hoping for summer squash, cherry tomatoes, and snap beans in a couple weeks. Otherwise it’s just a handful of this and that for now.
Beautiful harvests, Dave. I got a kick out of “massaging” the paste–bet your hands were very fragrant after that!
Yesthey were! Had the peppers been hotter I would have worn gloves.
Those currants look lovely. I’ve never eaten a currant, much less grown them. I have a feeling that they may not like my climate very much. Your fermentation adventures also look interesting, that’s another thing I’ve never tried making.
Redcurrants, Yes, Kimchi, No (That’s my preferences!). We used to have a lot of Redcurrants (oh, now I remember how laborious it is to pick them!) but when my wife was diagnosed with diabetes the bushes were discarded because there was too much of a temptation to make them into Redcurrant Jelly like we always used to do.
Such wonderful harvests for June! I’ve never eaten red currants before but no doubt I’d like them. They’re like little jewels. Happy to be reminded about Adagio arugula again. I’ll order that next time. I just planted more of Rocket last week. Thanks for sharing and hosting Harvest Monday.
Your kraut and kimchi look great. I had fun experimenting with it last year, but then we didn’t eat it all, so I’m going to resist the temptation to experiment again. The Soloist cabbage cleaned up very nicely. The red currants are beautiful!
Wonderful harvests! Currants are one fruit that I’m hoping to incorporating into our garden in the next year or two – they are so beautiful! Here you are, with your snow peas coming to an end while I’m still waiting for the first ones to arrive – the vines are finally flowering so I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer.
Hi Dave, I am joining in Harvest Monday this week even though I do not have much to share. I seem to have managed to get some things in the ground this w/e, but will show you the last of my spring harvest. I love your cherry currants, and your homegrown lettuce varities too. I am hoping to make some kimchi at home, so am very interested in your recipe. PS my main problem in the garden is slugs too.
What a bountiful harvest you’ve had this week! Love seeing so much diversity coming in so early in the season!
I’m interested in the kimchi too. My friend keeps promising for us to try some of hers but we never get round to it. I’m growing gherkins to make fermented pickles again though (last year all my plants got eaten but the year before I had lots!)
The currants are lovely…I should go and check on mine to see how they’re doing. The bush is right down the end of the plot so I have to make a bit of an effort to see it. Plus I need to defrost the freezer before it fills up with currants and berries again 🙂
The currants look delicious. I discovered your Harvest Monday a few weeks ago and have enjoyed reading everyone’s blogs. I decided to join in this week with my little harvest.