Welcome to Harvest Monday, the Memorial Day edition, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We were glad to see a few newcomers in the harvest basket last week. The snow peas I planted back in late March are now starting to set pods. I only got a handful this time, but they are covered in blooms. It’s a mix of the yellow podded Golden Sweet plus the green Sugar Daddy and Oregon Giant in the below photo. They wound up in a mixed stir fry my wife cooked up along with some asparagus and a few mushrooms.
Another newcomer to 2017 is kohlrabi, which came from one of the cold frame beds. It’s the green Konan and the purple Kolibri, and they weighed almost 6 pounds. The slugs have been eating on the skins, but it doesn’t hurt the kohlrabi any. I let them get fairly big so I can turn a few of them into fermented pickles and kohl-kraut. Others will likely be eaten raw or turned into kohl-slaw.
I made another cutting of garlic scapes last week from the rest of the Turban type garlic. The rocamboles haven’t started putting up scapes yet, but it shouldn’t be much longer. Most of this bunch is going in a batch of Garlic Scape Pesto, and a few will likely wind up in Daphne’s Garlic Scape Salad Dressing. Some might meet up with the snow peas for a stir fry.
Last week I made the first cutting of the Miz America mizuna. It is starting to bolt, and I put a few of the flower shoots in there along with the leaves. I stir fried this one day for lunch, and my first impression was that is is a bit more spicy than most mizuna I grow. Initially I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but by the time I was finished eating it I wished I had fixed more. I didn’t get a photo of it after cooking, but it turned sort of a purplish green color, and was actually quite attractive. I think it might taste better in fall, when it can mature in cooler weather, so I will be growing this one again later in the year.
We also got our first and last harvest of sour cherries. Our North Star tree is growing in the shade of a giant maple tree, and has struggled to produce much as a result. Still, we got just under a pound from it which was enough to make a nice cobbler.
To fill up the freezer though, on Friday my wife and I made a trek to Farview Orchards, where they have lots and lots of both sour and sweet cherries planted. We picked around 20 pounds in 45 minutes, and brought them home for processing that afternoon. Now the freezer is filled with enough cherries to last us until next year. We like to eat the sweet ones straight up for dessert, and add them to our morning muesli. They also make a nice addition to a smoothie.
And we made the final cutting of the asparagus. The size of the spears was starting to decline, and frankly we had gotten our fill of it the last two months. We cut 24 pounds of it total this year, down from last years 30 pounds but still plenty for us to eat and some to share. I used some to make a chicken pesto pasta dish I cooked up last night, using the garlic scape pesto.
Something else we’ve been cooking up lately is sweet potatoes from storage. We love to toss them with a little olive oil and cook them in a cast iron skillet. They get browned and crispy on the outside, but stay soft on the inside. For the batch in the below photo I picked the orange flesh Redmar, the white flesh Red Japanese, and the all-purple Purple. It made for a colorful and tasty combo that accompanied grilled salmon one night for dinner. We still have a decent amount of sweet potatoes in storage, and I am happy to report I got about half of the 2017 crop planted on Saturday. I will plant the rest once the slips I ordered arrive from Duck Creek Farms.
As for bread baking, I made a batch of sourdough buns last week. I’m working up my own recipe based on ideas from several sources. These were half whole wheat and half bread flour, and I baked them in a Mini Round Cake Pan (from USA Pan) which has six wells for dough or batter. It kept the wet dough from spreading out, and overall I was pleased with the results. I let them raise in the pan for 2.5 hours, and I think next time I will let them go even longer. They got a nice oven spring, but I believe they would have been taller had I waited another hour or so before popping them in the oven. I topped them with my ‘everything’ mix that includes white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds and a bit of dried onions.
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!