Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The harvests are really picking up here now. I take the harvest bucket to the garden with me most every morning, and bring back whatever is ready to come in. In the below photo we have several squash, including the yellow Sunstripe, White Scallop, and green striped Bossa Nova. There’s also a few side shoots of Apollo broccolini, and a small head of Minuet cabbage. The cabbage had a lot of slug damage but still weighed in at 21 ounces, which is really a nice size for the two of us to use. It wound up in a mixed veggie stir fry, actually a couple of them.
I also got a head of Soloist napa cabbage last week, which I used to make a batch of baechu kimchi. That head weighed almost three pounds, which gave me enough for a quart jar of kimchi plus a bit leftover. I lost one head of the Minuet that rotted at the base.
I like to put daikon radish in my kimchi, so I pulled a few of the spring planted ones to see how they were doing. In the below photo it’s Sweet Baby on the left and Shunkyo on the right. The green Sweet Baby seems to be an off type, though it tasted the same as the purple ones, sweet at the beginning then spicy at the end. I wound up making a jar of radish kimchi (Kkakdugi) with three of the Sweet Babys, and used the other one in a salad. The Shunkyo is a Chinese radish with a sweet hot flavor too, though not as sweet as the Sweet Babys.
I pulled one of the Alpine Gold daikons that I used in the cabbage kimchi. I planted both Alpine Gold (from Kitazawa) and Alpine (from Johnny’s) this spring, and I am curious to see if they are the same radish or whether they are different. Both are hybrid Korean daikons that are suitable for both spring and fall planting. I’ll let both of them size up a bit before I start pulling any more. Alpine Gold is supposed to get to 3 or 4 pounds, so I definitely pulled this one early at 7 ounces.
I cut the biggest head of broccoli so far this year from Gypsy. It weighed in at 28 ounces, which is larger than I usually grow broccoli here, especially in spring. The Gypsy plants are making nice side shoots too this year, though in years past it has not done nearly so well. I wish I could find one or two broccoli varieties that were truly dependable for me, but so far I am still looking.
The Apollo broccolini has been a dependable performer for me for several years now. Another broccolini type I’m growing this year is Artwork, a 2015 AAS winner with a medium sized main head but plenty of side shoots. The main attraction for these broccolini types is the long and tender stems. Last year Artwork pumped out a lot of side shoots, and I am hoping for a repeat performance this year.
It is looking to be a great year for kohlrabi here. It’s one of our favorite veggies for sure. I pulled three Kolibri I had growing in the main garden, and I let them get a bit bigger than usual so I could make kraut and pickles with them. Despite their size they were still tender and not woody or tough inside.
But the biggest kohlrabies I grow are the giant Kossak variety. This year they have really sized up nicely. The four in the below photo weighed a total of 15 pounds, with the largest one weighing almost 4.5 pounds. These will mostly get turned into kraut and pickles too. I have hauled in 32 pounds of kohlrabi this spring, which puts us on pace for a record harvest year, even more than the 46 pounds we got in 2014. There are several more of the Kossak still in the garden, plus I plan on growing more plants this fall.
Our new favorite way to prepare kohlrabi is to toss it with a little olive oil and bake it in a cast iron skillet. We have settled on thin slices as the preferred shape, since it maximizes the surface area that touches the skillet, and it makes for easy turning. I’m calling them kohlrabi chips, and we will be making them again soon. I’ll try and get a better pic next time! Our cast iron skillet stays busy since it works well for so many veggies.
I’m also getting the first cucumbers from the greenhouse. That’s the only place I have them planted this year, and they usually give us more than we need. Corinto is a slicing type I have grown for several years now.
I am growing pickling types this year too. I have a trio of greenhouse pickles in the below photo, from left to right they are Vertina, Excelsior and Harmonie. The seeds for all three came from Johnny’s.
The blackberries are ripening now as well. The Natchez variety is the first to ripen here, followed by Apollo. There was a bit over three pounds in this first picking, and the thornless canes are loaded this year. Most of these headed straight to the freezer after a quick rinse.
Natchez is a nice sized berry with a good flavor when they are fully ripe. We have been enjoying them for dessert, and with our morning muesli where they join in with our blueberries. They’re not all as big as the ones below, but most are nice sized.
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!
What a bumper harvest, the squashes and the kohlrabi excite me, and so do the blackberries, Yum
I love the first picture of the harvest basket–for some reason it looks like those whirly things that are supposed to hypnotize you! That head of Gypsy broccoli is stunning. Have you noticed any differences in the three types of pickling cucumbers you showed? And I think you made the right decision picking the Alpine Gold radish–I just can’t visualize it at 2-3 pounds.
I haven’t decided much yet on the picklers. The Harmonie has less spines, but I think the other two have more of a ‘classic’ shape for a pickling cucumber. So far Harmonie and Excelsior are the most prolific, I got more of them this morning, enough for some refrigerator dill slices.
Wow, your spring crops are still really coming in while your summer crops are starting. It’s such a wonderful mix of vegetables. Those are such big heads of napa cabbage and broccoli and I love seeing your cucumbers and blackberries rolling in. It looks like it’s a great time of year.
Our cucumbers are just starting to climb but they’re growing in a fairly shady bed.
Wonderful! I love cucumbers and broccoli
Beautiful blackberries! I have foraged wild blackberries this week
Gypsy broccoli really did well for you this spring, that’s a beautiful head. I can’t believe that Kossak kohlrabi, those bulbs are immense. I’m going to have to try those kohlrabi chips. Beautiful harvests, especially those luscious blackberries.
Sorry Dave the first link didn’t work – is it possible to remove it? We seem to have had the same success with broccoli but our blackberries will be a while yet.
The heat seems to have really got our blackberries to ripening. And the lack of rain has helped the quality, though the size might suffer a bit.
Wow, cucumbers!! Ours are still weeny but something to look forward to… and blackberries too. You do eat well, Dave!
Thanks Kathy. Sometimes I eat TOO well! 🙂
Nice diverse harvest, Dave. I’ve grown Gypsy and never got a head anywhere near that nice. This year I’m growing the Vertina picklers and am wondering if the plants can support all the cukes that have been set, and I’ve been picking off the extra if there’s two at a node. You have to really like kohlrabi to grow the Kossacks.
That’s a brilliant variety and quality of harvests. The squash and berries look particularly yummy. Oh and the cucumbers…we’re a very long way off any cuke harvests!
I like the idea of going out with basket in hand each day – a habit I should get into.
What is it about napa cabbage that makes it such a bug magnet? I have way too many bug issues already so that is one veg I will be skipping this year. And WOW – 4.5 lb kohlrabi – that’s insane!! I thought I had run out of Kossak and forgot to order more but then I ended up finding the remains of a packet so I’ll be sowing some for fall harvest. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to harvesting the Kolibri – I’ll have to try the kohlrabi chips once it’s ready to pull.