Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related, and anything else that needs celebrating! A week ago I was happy to have a warm sunny day where I could go for a walk in shorts. This weekend, we got a rare April snow! Winter just won’t go away this year, and I know I am not the only one who is ready for spring. Thankfully all my early plantings are protected by cold frames except for alliums, which should be able to take the small amount of snow we got. It has been so wet I was even unable to get a soil sample last week. The stainless steel auger I use kept getting clogged up with mud! Hopefully it will dry out a bit soon and I can get a sample since I would like to see what sort of amendments I need to work in this year. It turned cold after the snow, and temps got down to 23°F at the garden Saturday night. I’m glad I haven’t done any more planting than I have!
I made a cutting of kale from one of the cold frame beds last week. I pulled two of the overwintered Darkibor plants, and got a pound of leaves from them. I want to pull the rest of the plants in that bed soon and plant some mustard greens, weather permitting. It seems like all my garden plans are tempered by the weather these days! Some of that kale went into a bean and barley soup I made yesterday and I braised some of it for a dinner side dish. Darkibor is a curly kale much like you would find in the grocery around here, except in this case it had been sweetened by cold weather and frost making it more tasty than anything we could buy.
I made another cutting of kale from the greenhouse bed, this time from one called Western Front. I only took the leaves this time, and left the plants to grow a bit longer. I won’t need that spot until it’s time to plant cucumbers – whenever that might be! Last year I planted them on April 10th, but it will likely be at least three weeks later this year since I have yet to start the plants.
The greenhouse kale went into a Tuscan Bean Stew I slow cooked last week in the Instant Pot. I cooked some Marcella cannellini beans along with aromatic vegetables until done, then added the chopped kale and cooked for about an hour until the kale was just tender. That called for bread, so I baked a loaf of the Breadtopia Artisan Sourdough No Knead Bread in the clay baker. The crusty bread went well with the stew, and the bread leftovers will go in the freezer for crostini.
Recently my wife made a corded bowl to donate to a local charity for a fundraising raffle. She wasn’t 100% happy with how the first one turned out, but Ace has decided it makes a great bed! It’s near the window where the bird feeder is attached, so he can watch the birdies without even getting out of bed.
In the homemade department, I made a batch of whole grain kombucha mustard last week. I basically followed my recipe for Whole Grain Mustard, except I used 1 cup of plain homemade kombucha vinegar instead of the vinegar/water mix. Kombucha vinegar is kombucha that is allowed to ferment for a longer time than usual, and I get mine from my scoby hotel (jar where I store extra scobys). I let the mustard seeds soak in the vinegar for two days, then added salt and blended it up. Considering the kombucha vinegar was quite tart and puckery tasting, I expected the mustard to be the same way but it actually turned out quite mild. More experimenting will be necessary in the future, as our homemade mustard stores are running low.
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!