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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!