It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather here was mostly warm and sunny last week, with a couple of days of rain that came mostly in the afternoon and evening. That let me get a lot of gardening chores done, and I am happy to have about 50% of the vegetable garden planted now. On the harvest front, the asparagus is still coming on, and we are harvesting five or six ounces of it most every day. We’ve cut a bit over seven pounds already, and will likely keep harvesting another week or two. Some of it went onto our plates for Asparagus Mimosa we had for our lunch one day.
The purple leaf pac choi I have planted in containers has done well this year. We’ve used it a lot in salads, and last week I cut quite a bit to use in a stir fry dish that also featured our asparagus. Purple Magic Epic High and Purple Gem have had the best purple color of the ones I grew this year, and I got seed for both of them from Kitazawa Seed Co.
The greenhouse lettuce is struggling with all the heat, but still making plenty for salads. I haven’t started any summer types so far, so when this planting runs out that will be all the salad greens until fall. I miss having fresh greens in summer, but we usually have plenty of other things coming in from the garden at that time.
I’m still pulling radishes too, ones that I started indoors then interplanted with kohlrabi. I tried several varieties this year, and all have done well. It’s the purple Bacchus and red Crunchy King in the photo.
Several of the White Russian kale plants I set out last fall survived the winter, and I harvested some last week for cooking. This is one of my favorite kale varieties, and these spring leaves were tender and mild.
I used the kale to make kale and sweet potato hash to go with our dinner one night. I used one of our Purple sweet potatoes from storage, cubed and tossed with olive oil then baked in a cast iron skillet. I blanched the kale for a few minutes, then drained and chopped it before adding it to the skillet with the sweet potatoes and heating in the oven for another 10 minutes. I sometimes use the orange or white fleshed sweet potatoes for this dish as well. The purple ones made for a visual contrast with the green kale, and added a subtle sweetness to the finished dish. With added beans it would make a meal, but I served it with fish on this occasion.
We managed a getaway from our chores last week for a day trip to Lincoln State Park. It’s a bit less than an hour’s drive away from us, and with school still in session the park was mostly empty on a weekday. We packed a picnic lunch for the occasion. My wife made her curried chicken salad, and I used parsley from the garden to make a tabouli salad. We always bring our own napkins and silverware, and the dishes and tablecloth are reusable and have been on many a picnic with us!
After we ate, we went on a hike around the lake. There was a lovely breeze around the water, but when the trail went into the woods it became hot and humid. We still enjoyed the hour long hike, but stayed on the path since there was lots of poison ivy growing lushly along the side of the trail. For those who might not be familiar with poison ivy, remember the old saying: “leaves of three, let it be”. We have it pop up occasionally at our place too.
In the Wild Garden, several plants are beginning to bloom. The Jethro Tull coreopsis is covered in yellow blooms now. Many of the coneflowers are budding up too. Over in the Sun Garden, one of the pink peonies is in full bloom.
The Wave petunias are also blooming nicely now. I’ve got Easy Wave Sky Blue growing in several containers, including a hanging basket on the west side of the greenhouse. The blooms lighten as they age, which makes for a colorful display of light to darker blu-ish flowers on the plant at the same time.
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 please take a minute and check out what everyone is harvesting!