Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The asparagus season continues, and we are harvesting it daily now, other than Friday when it rained most of the day. We grilled it several times last week, one day for lunch where we served it up with a tuna salad sandwich on homemade whole wheat/rye bread. My wife was jonesing for tuna salad, and I had already baked up the loaf of bread, so it seemed like a great menu combo. I jokingly told her my bread deserved nothing but the best, so she found some tasty Italian tonno for the salad.
Also in the salad department, I had quite a few leftover lettuce seedlings when I finished planting the cold frame beds, so I let them grow on in the plug trays. Once I was certain I didn’t need any more plants, I cut the leaves for a harvest of baby lettuce. It is truly a mix of varieties and colors, and the lettuce was tender and mild tasting. I have other lettuce that could be cut, but I hate to let this go to waste. Why pay big bucks for organic baby lettuce at the grocery when you can have the homegrown version!
I finally cut one of the overwintered Wonder of Stuttgart lettuce plants. The outer leaves have a little wear and tear, but the main head is big and relatively clean. It weighed in at a respectable 12 ounces, which is bigger than most of the lettuce I manage to grow. I decided those big buttery leaves would make good lettuce cups or wraps, so I put that on the menu for a couple of meals this coming week. It made a good wrapper for taco filling, and I can see some stuffed with a Tuscan style tuna and white bean salad.
Since the asparagus is coming on strong, I decided to try lacto-fermenting some of it to make pickled asparagus. I cut the spears into 5″ lengths, then packed them into a quart jar along with a few cloves of garlic, a couple of dried Aji Angelo peppers, and a bay leaf. I made a 3.5% brine solution and poured that in the jar to cover the asparagus. I’ll leave it sit out for about a week before refrigerating, though it might be ready earlier that that. I love pickled asparagus, but this is my first time fermenting it, so I am anxious to see how it turns out. I used the cut off ends of the asparagus in a stir-fry yesterday.
And I’m still cutting overwintered kale in the greenhouse. This is True Siberian, which is bolting and won’t last a whole lot longer. I have surely enjoyed all the greenhouse kale though, and kale is a great performer in our winter greenhouse.
I’ll close with a wildlife update. Something happened to the female bluebird of our nesting pair, and the male had to take over all of the parenting duties. We watched him feeding them, and he worked diligently to keep the babies going. They fledged the nest last week, and we had a ringside seat on our covered porch as they made their first appearance out in the world. I got a pic of one of them as it was huddled at the base of a currant bush. The male has been singing and looking for another female, so hopefully he will find one soon. We have two nest boxes ready and waiting if they choose to use them.
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!
I’m really curious about the asparagus as well!
Growing your own salads is nothing “special” for some people but it definetely saves a lot of money, haha!
We only picked one cauliflower this week which hardly warrants a blog post. I love the baby bird photo. They always need to grow into their beaks don’t they.
No harvests in my post, but lots of garden work!
I’m hopeful that in a couple years I’ll have the lovely asparagus harvests like you have. You could make a delicious asian-flavored pulled pork or chicken to put in those lettuce wraps too.
The pulled pork and chicken sounds yummy. I think a curried chicken salad is going in too. I hope I have enough leaves!
Baby lettuce is what got me into growing lettuce, the little stuff is so expensive and so easy to grow, it’s a no brainer. But I really do prefer the sturdier texture of heading lettuces and you can’t make lettuce cups with baby lettuces. Rice noodles with veggies and shrimp are one of my favorite lettuce cup fillings.
That little bluebird is so cute! Still a bit scraggly but adorable.
I’m intrigued by the pickled asparagus–does it stay crunchy? Not that we have enough to preserve! The baby bluebird looks confused. I wish our bluebirds would get to use the nest boxes–the house sparrows always appropriate them and drive off the bluebirds and tree swallows, even though I was sure I made the box holes too small for sparrows. Darn.
The sparrows are pesky and aggressive for sure. My nest boxes are made of PVC pipe, and the sparrows don’t like to nest in them as much as they do the wooden bluebird sized boxes. So I have one wooden one for them, and a couple of the PVC boxes which get used by the bluebirds as well as tree swallows, nuthatches and occasionally a chickadee.
Also, I don’t think the asparagus stays crunchy. The recipe I followed (from Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten K. and Christopher Shockey) says they are “soft but not mushy” so we will see.
Oh, that baby bluebird is adorable!! So sad about the mum, though. Wonderful harvests this week – they are making me all the more anxious to harvest something myself! And it won’t be too much longer as I’ll be picking a few asparagus…the first ever!…this week.
Grilled asparagus sounds wonderful, we might give that a try today along with some grilled pineapple. I wondered if you had gotten any of that rain last week. We got around 3-4 inches just on Sunday, the whole backyard was underwater including the garden. Good thing we hadn’t started planting yet, although it’ll be awhile before the ground dries out.
We got 2 inches then, and we’re getting more today. It will be next week at the earliest before the garden is dry enough to plant anything.
Your asparagus harvests are fantastic. I haven’t even eaten any bought asparagus yet this spring. Though I know it won’t be as good as homegrown.
Aw, cute bluebird. I’m sure we’ll have some baby birds around soon, the blackbirds which come in our garden keep filling their beaks up with food rather than eating it themselves, so I suspect their are young ones somewhere nearby that they’re feeding.
That little bluebird looks a bit forlorn. I hope it grows up to be a healthy adult.