Harvest Monday April 16, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related, and anything else that needs celebrating! It is starting to feel like springtime around here, and that is definitely cause for celebration. I’ve actually managed to get some work done outside, and in the greenhouse. We’re getting a steady amount of greens from the garden, mostly from the greenhouse now that I’ve pulled all the kale from the cold frame beds. I made another cutting of the Koji tatsoi, which wound up in a frittata along with some I’Itoi onions I pulled. These perennial multiplier onions are so useful to have, and I most often pull them to use as scallions like the ones in the below photo.

Koji tatsoi and I

Koji tatsoi and I’itoi onions

I got 10 ounces of Starbor kale from the last two plants I pulled up in the cold frame bed. It looks a lot like Darkibor, curly and fairly compact. It was tender and mild tasting too. I’ve got a new planting of Starbor, Darkibor and Prizm kale in that cold frame bed now, and I want to compare how each of them does in spring and early summer. Along with the kale I filled out that bed with some plants of Pink Lettucy and Vibrant Joy mustard.

Starbor kale

Starbor kale

The kale wound up in a batch of kale and sweet potato hash I cooked one night. I don’t have a recipe for this, because it’s really simple to make. I cube the sweet potato, toss it with a little olive oil and salt, then bake in a preheated cast iron skillet at 400°F for about a half hour until done and browned. Meanwhile, I chop up the kale and either steam or blanch it briefly until just tender. Then I drain the kale and let it cool before adding to the skillet once the sweet potatoes are done. I pop the skillet back in the oven for about five minutes to let the kale get hot, then it’s done. I precook the kale because if you put it in the skillet raw it would turn into kale chips! This time I used the Purple sweet potato, which is mildly sweet and crisps up beautifully with this treatment. I add a little paprika at the end and that’s all the seasoning it needs for me.

kale and sweet potato hash

kale and sweet potato hash

Other big news for me is that I cut the first lettuce of the season from the greenhouse plantings. The first harvest was two heads of the Salanova Butter lettuce, one Green and one Red.

Salanova Butter lettuce

Salanova Butter lettuce

I also made another cutting last week, this time of the green Tango and red Spritzer lettuce. All the lettuce went into a couple of salads I made which we really enjoyed. Homegrown lettuce is the best, and it’s sure nice to have it back.

Spritzer and Tango lettuce

Spritzer and Tango lettuce

It wasn’t a harvest, but I found some horseradish root that had sprouted on the compost pile. It was what was left of the root after I processed it last fall, and it had decided to come to life this spring. I found two roots, potted them up, and I will set them out later in the bed where I have the horseradish planted. Talk about an easy crop!

sprouting horseradish roots

sprouting horseradish roots

In late breaking news, yesterday I cut the first spears of asparagus. It’s running a bit late this year, and it’s usually a good indicator of how spring is progressing. Last year I cut the first ones on 4/3, while in 2016 it was on 3/17. These first ones aren’t real big, but there are more sprouting up in the garden and it won’t be long before we get a proper harvest.

first harvest

first harvest

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!


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11 Responses to Harvest Monday April 16, 2018

  1. Our kale didn’t really grow very well but the horseradish is prolific. This year we need to try and get ot under control and maybe plant in a large pot to restrict it.

  2. Denise says:

    I am interested in more info about those multiplier onions. I have Egyptian walking onions. Are they similar to those? Where did you get them originally? I love perennial vegetables. Plant once, enjoy for years!

    • Dave says:

      Denise, I got the I’itoi onions from Native Seeds/SEARCH:


      I’itoi doesn’t form onions on the top like the Egyptian Walking Onion does. But one bulb does split into multiple onions in the soil. And it keeps splitting to form a clump. I can usually pull a few onions and leave the rest of the clump growing. They do die back in summer, and you can either dig up the bulbs and replant or leave them in place to resprout and keep growing.

      Michelle (From Seed To Table) did a spotlight with some great photos and lots of information about growing them:


      • Denise says:

        Great info, I will now be looking to add these to my garden. Native Seeds is out right now but I hope to pick some up later this summer.

        Michelle’s site also looks good, I will be reading more of that.

        Thanks! I have added many of your “variety spotlight” vegetables to my list of things to grow. This year I’m trying Fairy Tale and Patio Baby eggplants for the first time.


  3. Michelle says:

    The first spears of asparagus! It is truly spring. I wonder if horseradish would grow in a big pot, perhaps a 10-gallon. I love horseradish but don’t have a spot in the garden to devote to it and I’m afraid it might take over if I did put it in the garden. Salanova is such a pretty lettuce.

  4. Denver says:

    I’m definitely going to try both Salanova and I’itoi this fall. I see rowdy blue haired ladies at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market buy Salanova every time I go and I’m intrigued.

  5. joy says:

    I was just thinking about trying to find some of those onions here in the UK. They sound like good value. I am very envious of your asparagus. Mine has just started to poke its nose through the ground. Perhaps this week of sunshine will bring it out enough to pick.

  6. Hey that’s great you’ve had fresh lettuce! And asparagus – I’ve seen lots of people over here saying it’s only just starting to show.

  7. Kathy says:

    Oh I have asparagus envy. Ours went west when we tried to move it a coule of years back, and I do miss it a lot. Maybe time to think where I could site some new crowns perhaps ….

    And the red salanova lettuce looks terrific!

  8. Margaret says:

    So jealous of your spring weather – and asparagus already?? We had one good day a week or so ago and I removed the straw from a couple of the beds and wasn’t even able to get to all of it as it was encased in ice. Needless to say, it will be a LONG while before I see any spears!

    I grew Starbor last year and really liked it as well – yummy and it was the only kale that didn’t get infested with aphids, even though they were all planted side by side in the same bed.

  9. Phuong says:

    Your lettuce and kale look lovely. Aw asparagus, a true sign of spring. We’re expecting lots more rain this weekend, hopefully the forecasters are wrong. I’m going to give your kale and sweet potato hash a try, it sounds wonderful.

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