Harvest Monday October 29, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. After our first killing freeze, the harvests have slowed down considerably here. And after a long hot summer growing season, I am not at all sad about that! The pace of the fall garden is always less hectic and more enjoyable for me. I tend to harvest things as needed, instead of having to deal with veggies on their schedule. I don’t usually photograph the small harvests of herbs I get, but they are important to me. My wife and I both love parsley, and I try and always have some growing. I currently have three plants in the greenhouse, and they generally keep us well supplied. I got a sprig of it last week to go in a tuna and white bean salad, and also pulled one I’itoi onion to use in the dish.

parsley and I'itoi onion

parsley and I’itoi onion

I did scurry to dig the ginger and turmeric plants up last week before the big freeze came. I started growing these tropical plants a few years ago, and I am always surprised how well they do for me. I start the roots indoors in winter, then set them out in late May when the weather warms up. I have a spot behind the greenhouse that gets about a half day’s sun, and they love the heat and filtered light they get there.

ginger harvest

ginger harvest

I set out three plants of each, and I got enough roots to keep us supplied for a while plus a bit to share with friends. The young ginger is a real treat, with a thin skin and delicate flavor.

turmeric roots

turmeric roots

After cleaning up, you can get a better idea of what the roots look like and how they grow. I didn’t weight them, but it’s a decent harvest from a very small outlay of time and effort. I’ll probably dry some of turmeric and grind it up for using that way.

turmeric and ginger roots

turmeric and ginger roots

baby ginger

baby ginger

turmeric

turmeric

I also set out lemongrass and lemon verbena behind the greenhouse. I let them grow all summer, then dig up the plants and pot them up to overwinter inside. My lemon verbena plant is several years old now, and gets over six feet tall when growing. The lemongrass clump is huge too, and I usually divide it when I set it out in spring. Lately I’ve been using lemongrass to flavor my kombucha as well as for iced tea and other culinary uses. I started the lemongrass originally from stalks I bought at an Asian market, rooted in water before potting up in soil. I did a Variety Spotlight a few years back on starting and growing lemongrass that has a bit more information on the process.

lemongrass plant

lemongrass plant

From the fall garden , I pulled a few of the White Lady turnips for dinner Saturday night. I cooked a few of the greens in with the roots, because we like them both. I planted lots of turnips and turnips greens, so this should be a frequent item on our menu. The White Lady roots were tender and tasty, though not as sweet perhaps as Hakurei which I also have growing. The leaves were smooth and easy to clean, and they were tender and mild tasting.

White Lady turnips

White Lady turnips

And I pulled a big Alpine radish to go with a head of Soloist cabbage I cut. These will make a jar of kimchi, with radish left over for another jar when I cut more cabbage. There was a fair amount of slug and snail damage on the cabbage, but it cleans up well and the holes don’t hurt the kimchi one bit! The radish and the cabbage each weighed about 1.5 pounds after trimming up.

Alpine radish and Soloist cabbage

Alpine radish and Soloist cabbage

I the non harvest department, I baked up a batch of buns last week. They played host to portobello mushroom burgers I cooked up for dinner. I marinated the mushrooms in balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, then roasted in the oven until done. I added a bit of cheese and some homegrown alfalfa sprouts, and mashed up an avocado to spread on the bun. The rest of the buns went in the freezer for future meals.

Moomies Burger Buns

Moomies Burger Buns

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 of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting, or wishing they were harvesting!


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13 Responses to Harvest Monday October 29, 2018

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    The ginger and turmeric is impressive but I doubt our climate would suit it. Maybe we would have had a chance this year nit I doubt we will have too many summers like the last one.

    I like to have parsley handy too.

  2. Margaret says:

    Wow – the ginger and turmeric are amazing! I can almost smell the ginger – it looks so moist and fresh. I’m intrigued by the fact that your White Lady turnips were not as sweet as the Hakurei – I had the exact opposite experience. Goes to show that it’s worth trying different varieties as, just because a variety does poorly or well for someone else, doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience in your own garden.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I think our hot fall weather played a part in the taste too. I’m reserving judgment, and perhaps next fall they all will be sweeter!

  3. Michelle says:

    I used to buy baby ginger in Asian markets in the SF bay area but it’s much harder to find in the Monterey bay area, basically impossible. It is so good fresh and makes a fantastic ginger marmalade. I miss it. No napa cabbage for me this year, there just isn’t enough space in my protective cages for it but maybe I can squeeze in some turnips.

  4. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have fresh ginger and tumeric? In my zone 10 garden I could easily grow them. Has anyone grown them in containers?

  5. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    That’s good information, Dave. I tried to grow ginger and turmeric this year. I planted both in pots. The ginger never grew, but the turmeric produced a lovely plant. I’m thinking I should dump out the soil, get what roots I can, and replant 1 or 2 back in the same pot and keep it indoors over the winter. Do you think that would work?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      That’s exactly what I did the first year I tried growing turmeric. I potted it up, it went dormant for a bit, then it started growing and I set it out the second year. It made nice roots then.

  6. Most impressed by that turmeric! Thank you fr the growing advice too. I shall have to look out for some in our Asian grocers when it is in season and give that a go

  7. How can you tell when your radishes reach .. whatever they’re going to get to? I think I always wait too long and they get pithy. Should I be harvesting at the “days to maturity” regardless of what that looks like?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I have a hard time with that too, same with turnips. The daikons seem to be less prone to that, though they can get hot sometimes.

    • I find the big Winter varieties stand much better in the ground than the Summer varieties. Last year we had some that sat through some really cold weather and were still absolutely fine with no pithiness (Chinese Dragon) but the tops of the Moolis went brown and soft where they had frozen

  8. Phuong says:

    That’s so great you grew turmeric and ginger, they’re roots are so interesting and pretty. I’ve always wondered about ginger when I see them at the grocery store and it looks like they want to sprout. Ginger and lemongrass are great addition to curries, and other chicken dishes. Yum.

  9. shaheen says:

    Your moomies burger buns look amazing and so does what went inside balsamic mushrooms. I wan tot come on over to yours. Its interesting to see both the fresh roots of ginger and garlic.

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