Harvest Monday May 14, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The heat wave continues here, as we’ve definitely skipped spring this year and moved straight into summer. The temperatures have been up around 90°F for several days now, and I have been trying to work outside early in the morning before it heats up too much. The asparagus doesn’t mind the heat though, and we continue to get a nice cutting every day. We’ve gotten 11 pounds so far, and we’ve been eating it every which way we can. The jar I fermented a while back was ready to eat after four days, and I started a second jar a few days later. It’s a good way to use the smaller spears, which ferment quickly but still stay crunchy.

almost a pound of asparagus

almost a pound of asparagus

I’ve been pulling all the overwintered kale in the greenhouse to make room for planting cucumbers. The kale is all flowering now, and the aphids are moving in, so it’s time for it to go. There’s a pound of True Siberian in the Tubtrug in the below photo, and despite the heat the leaves were still tender and mild tasting.

True Siberian kale

True Siberian kale

The greenhouse lettuce is also holding up amazing well in the heat. I keep it watered daily, which helps, but I’m sure it would be happier if it was a bit cooler. It’s the red oakleaf Garrison and green Tango in the below photo.

Garrison and Tango lettuce

Garrison and Tango lettuce

I also harvested some greens for a deconstructed egg roll dish I made for dinner one night. I cut some leftover Napa cabbage seedlings that were big enough to eat, plus pak choi and mizuna I had growing in the greenhouse and cold frame beds. It’s Miz America mizuna plus Bopak and Mei Qing pack choi along with the cabbage. Aphids have also found the pak chois, but they rinsed away without too much effort. The dish included ground turkey for the meat and the stir fried greens along with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and dry sherry for seasoning. I added some shiitake mushrooms when I was cooking the meat. My wife and I declared the dish a keeper, and it was a great way to use up a mess of greens. I can see making it again when I have some full grown cabbage to go in there.

baby napa cabbages

baby napa cabbages

mizuna and pak choi

mizuna and pak choi

We have a lot of bearded iris starting to bloom now. They may not be edible, but they sure are eye candy for us to look at. We don’t know the name of this beauty, but she has light colored frilly standards and an orange beard on the dark purple falls. I am guessing we are not the only ones with lost plant tags and unknown cultivars in the garden!

unnamed but beautiful iris

unnamed but beautiful iris

In the wildlife department, the bluebird babies have fledged and are out and about. The parents were so protective I only got one brief peek at the babies, and didn’t even attempt to get a photo. That’s a good thing, them being protective, though we had to be careful working and walking around the nest box area since they were quick to swoop down on us to chase us away. They had no sooner gone than a male took up residence and started singing his mating songs. I haven’t seen a female yet, but he has been persistent. I doubt that it’s the male from the nesting pair, as I imagine they are busy taking care of five young bluebirds.

bluebird male looking for a mate

bluebird male looking for a mate

And in the active life department, my wife and I did a local 5K race Saturday morning. The event is a benefit that raises money for upkeep and maintenance of the local walking/running trail that goes along the river. It was a great day for a race, though a bit warm even at 8AM. We did a combination of walking and running with no goal in mind other than finishing upright and smiling, which we did while sprinting for the finish line. We were having so much fun the race photographer didn’t even have to tell us to smile for the camera! It’s our third 5K this year, and we are ramping up our efforts as we plan for the Evansville half marathon this fall. We last did this race in 2009, and it will be my first half in my (yikes) sixties! Gotta use it or lose it I say, and it will be an interesting summer once we start ramping up the mileage.

sprinting for the finish

sprinting for the finish

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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14 Responses to Harvest Monday May 14, 2018

  1. Phuong says:

    That’s so cool you two perform races together, it looks like a lot of fun. Long distance runners eat a lot so don’t be afraid of the calories, especially if you’re racking up miles during the week.

    Your asparagus looks delicious and it’s crazy how hot its been, but your greens are holding up amazingly in the heat. Are you going to keep planting pak chois and such or do you think it’s too hot at this point?

    • Dave says:

      One of the things I miss about running a lot is being able to eat whatever I wanted! I think I will stop planting the greens here until it’s time for the fall crop. Some of the mizuna is starting to bolt, and the pak choi can’t be far behind.

  2. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    I applaud your exercise achievements. I really should start doing that too! I’m glad you had a successful bluebird nesting, and maybe another one on the way. I’ve had interest from the bluebirds (and also tree swallows) for our nest boxes, but so far nothing. I’ve had to remove several house sparrow nests. The “deconstructed egg roll” dish sounds delicious. Oh, and nice harvests too!

    • Dave says:

      We have not seen many house sparrows so far this year. I am hoping they moved away! Even the wrens have not built in the nest boxes, though they have been hanging out in the greenhouse trying to build.

  3. Michelle says:

    Both of you do look like you’re having fun! That in my opinion is the most important thing about exercise, if I’m not having fun I won’t continue to do it. And having someone to do it with is almost as important, my Dave and I have had so many great hiking adventures together and have a lot more planned.

    Your harvests make it look like you’re enjoying spring. Your deconstructed egg roll dish sounds like something I would serve in a lettuce cup with maybe an addition of some rice or bean thread noodles. Oh, I’m getting hungry…

    • Dave says:

      We were talking during the race about how much fun it is to race together, now that neither of us feels a need to be competitive. I remember running a 10K with Lynda shortly after we met, and she ran off and left me behind! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed running, and being in races. I do see more in my future as long as I can keep from getting injured.

  4. Margaret says:

    Wonderful harvests! I really can’t wait to get some lettuce in our salad bowl…even with our warmer temperatures, it seems to be taking it’s sweet time to bulk up. I love the idea of a deconstructed egg roll – all of the yumminess without all the fuss – I must try that!

    And congrats on finishing the race with a smile!

    • Dave says:

      The egg roll dish will be worth making again. And Michelle’s idea of noodles is a good one – a no fuss addition for sure!

  5. Shawn Ann says:

    Love everything coming out of your garden, including the wild life and flowers. Some of my asparagus is on its second year and I have tried planting purple last year and this year and so far only one has popped up this year, sadly. I may try to start them in pots next year if no more pop up.
    It’s great that you are running. I wish I could, it just wears me down too quickly but all three of my kids run Cross Country and two run track. Its a lot of fun!

    • Dave says:

      It took awhile to get our asparagus established, and I had to fill in a few bare spots in the beginning from plants that didn’t make it. It’s good that your kids like running – I didn’t start until my 40s!

      • A.J. says:

        @ Shawn Ann – Our first attempt at asparagus was almost a complete bust. I think we didn’t prepare the beds as well as we could have and the locations weren’t sunny enough. This time we’ve given them a dedicated raised bed that is almost half compost and in full sun. And almost every crown has sprouted. I’m sure Dave could speak to it better than I can, but it seems the soil can never be *too* rich for asparagus, so long as it drains well.

  6. Sue Garrett says:

    We only harvested yet more rhubarb last week. There is only so many times you can report “We pulled some rhubarb”. Well done with the run. Our bearded irises are in bud too at the moment.

  7. shaheen says:

    Its been a while since I visited and participated in Harvest Monday. My husband would be very envious of your asparagus, what a good yield. Well done to you and your Wife, Dave in the 5k.

    PS I am being a little sneaky joining in this week. I have harvested some rhubarb, but not got round to photographing it for sharing. Hope its okay

    • Dave says:

      Good to see you joining in Shaheen! My wife does most of the hard work on the asparagus – mulching, weeding and harvesting. I keep it fertilized and help eat it. 🙂

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