Harvest Monday November 26, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The harvests here have been small in number, but much appreciated. I pulled a tubtrug of turnip greens last week to cook as a side for our Thanksgiving dinner. This batch is a mix of Topper and Nozawana, both of which are grown for their greens only since they don’t make edible roots. Topper seems to be the most hardy of the turnip greens I am growing this year, and I will factor that into my plantings for next year. Nozawana shows some leaf damage from our recent ice and snow, but Topper is truly unfazed. I could cover them to protect from the weather, but in my experience the aphids usually take over under cover so I leave them bare. I’d rather have a few wonky looking leaves and not have to deal with cleaning aphids off them.

turnip greens

turnip greens

I made a cutting of Lacinato and Dazzling Blue kale to go in a soup I cooked up Saturday night. Dazzling Blue is a lovely lacinato type kale that is a bit more hardy than the usual lacinato types. Like Topper, the Dazzling Blue leaves came through the recent weather in great shape, while some of the Lacinato leaves had signs of frostbite and burning on them.

Dazzling Blue and Lacinato kale

Dazzling Blue and Lacinato kale

I also got a small cutting from the Artwork and Apollo broccolini plants. It was just enough to get a taste, and I roasted them in a cast iron skillet. The fall planted broccoli has not done well this year, and Artwork and Apollo are the only ones that gave us anything at all.

Artwork and Apollo brocolli

Artwork and Apollo brocolli

In other news, I roasted one of the Turkeyneck squash last week. After roasting I turned about half of it into puree. My wife used the puree to made a pumpkin pie for a community dinner we went to where we ate turkey and lots of tasty side dishes. Then for our Thanksgiving dinner she baked another pie and we ate it all ourselves. This squash weighed right at eight pounds, and I saved some of the neck portion for roasting and some of it to go in the soup with the kale. The soup had a base of chicken broth, plus white beans, cubed squash and chopped lacinato kale along with aromatic vegetables. The squash was sweet and mild tasting and worked well in both the sweet and savory dishes. The roasted squash was also quite tasty. I cut the neck into 1 inch thick slabs and roasted in a cast iron skillet until tender and browned.

baked Turkeyneck squash

baked Turkeyneck squash

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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Harvest Monday November 19, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The cold wave continues here. We got sleet, freezing rain and snow on Thursday, and that had me harvesting quite a few fall veggies. While they can take a good bit of cold, in my experience the plants do not much appreciate freezing rain and snow. The fall cabbage has never really sized up, but I cut two heads that were at least big enough to eat. Tendersweet normally makes heads in the 2-3 pound range, but these two heads together weighed a bit less than 2 pounds total. It’s always great for fresh eating and I plan to use some of these in soup tonight.

Tendersweet cabbage

Tendersweet cabbage

The kale I planted this fall is doing much better. I made cuttings from the Beedy’s Camden and White Russian plants and got almost two pounds of leaves. We cooked some up for a side dish last week, and the rest in going in the soup tonight. The leaves are sweet and tender, and since it looks like they survived the weather last week I hope to make more cuttings this week. We had a heavy frost Saturday morning, and that should sweeten them up even more.

Beedy's Camden and White Russian kale

Beedy’s Camden and White Russian kale

I also pulled the rest of the Kossak kohlrabi. It never sized up like it usually does, but there has been plenty to eat and to ferment. These weighed a bit over 5 pounds total. I used a few of them to make a jar of kohlrabi kraut and we roasted one of them Saturday night in a cast iron skillet.

Kossak kohlrabi

Kossak kohlrabi

I pulled a few more of the Alpine radishes and started another jar of kimchi with them. And yes, I love my fermented radish kimchi!

Alpine radishes

Alpine radishes

And last but not least I pulled a big bunch of Hakurei and Oasis turnips to cook up for dinner one night. I cooked some of the roots along with the greens, and saved a few of the roots for roasting later on.

Hakurei and Oasis turnips

Hakurei and Oasis turnips

Lately we have been tasting the 2018 sweet potatoes. I baked one each of the Red Japanese and Murasaki last week so we could taste them side by side. Visually they look almost identical, both outside and inside. After cooking, the taste was almost identical too, though the Murasaki might have been a bit more moist. I grew several test varieties this year, and I’m wanting to pick our favorites and grow them next year.  Productivity is important too, and Murasaki was the 2nd most productive one I grew this year.  It was 50% more productive than the Red Japanese, and I will likely grow it next year.

Red Japanese and Murasaki sweet potatoes

Red Japanese and Murasaki sweet potatoes

In non-harvest news, I finally managed to get fall alliums planted before the freezing weather returned. I worked last Monday in temperatures barely above freezing to get it all planted and mulched with straw. It’s a good thing too, because a few days later it was covered in freezing rain and snow! I planted 216 total sets/cloves of garlic, multiplier onions and shallots in a bit over 2 hours, and that allowed for taking a couple of breaks indoors to warm up my hands and fingers which got quite chilly poking around in the cold soil. In the below photo you can see the snow covered broccoli and cabbage plants next to the allium bed. Time will tell if they recover and produce anything more. I still have plenty of garden cleanup work to do but I will wait for slightly more agreeable weather.

snow covered bed of garlic

snow covered bed of garlic

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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Harvest Monday November 12, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I made the first cutting of fall kale last week. I got enough of the Wild Garden Mix kale for us to enjoy as a side dish. The kale was sweet and tender, and it cooked in no time. This cross of Siberian and Red Russian kales is one of my favorites. It also served as the gene pool for the Wild Garden Seeds introductions White Russian and Red Ursa kale, both of which I am also growing.

Wild Garden Mix kale

Wild Garden Mix kale

I also pulled the first of the fall kohlrabi. The ones I planted in the cold frame bed did poorly, no doubt hindered by our extremely hot fall weather. These are Kolibri and Kordial, two I have grown in the past with better results. They are edible though, if on the small side. Instead of using my hand for scale, Ally Cat stepped in the photo to help. The 10 kohlrabis weighed 2.5 pounds, while Ally has grown to just over 7 pounds now.

Kohlrabi and Ally

Kohlrabi and Ally

The Kossak kohlrabi I planted in the main garden did much better. I pulled four of those, which weighed about a pound each. I turned a couple of them into fermented kohlrabi pickles and kohlrabi kimchi, and saved the other two for roasting later on.

Kossak kohlrabi

Kossak kohlrabi

I also pulled a few more radishes for kimchi. It’s the white fleshed Alpine, purple fleshed KN Bravo, and the green fleshed Green Luobo. It’s my first time growing KN Bravo, and I have to say I think the purple Sweet Baby radishes have a better flavor. For some reason I forgot to order Sweet Baby, and I have added it to my seed ordering list for 2019. KN Bravo did have a nice color though, and should make tasty kimchi. Alpine is a dependable performer for me here, though it doesn’t get quite as big as the Korean daikons I find in the markets. This one weighed 10 ounces.

Alpine, KN Bravo and Green Luobo radishes

Alpine, KN Bravo and Green Luobo radishes

It’s also my first time growing the Green Luobo. It’s a Green Meat type, and I cut these into cubes to make a jar of radish kimchi. The taste was pretty spicy raw, but the fermenting should mellow them up considerably. I’m anxious to see if the green color holds after fermenting.

Green Luobo radishes

Green Luobo radishes

My other big harvest was the remaining two heads of napa cabbage. One is Soloist and the other is Minuet, and they each weighed right at two pounds. I used one to start another jar of kimchi, and we will use the other one in cooking.

Soloist and Minuet cabbage

Soloist and Minuet cabbage

I got a small harvest of hot peppers from plants that were growing in containers on the deck outside the kitchen door. They were sheltered somewhat, and even though the plants were killed by frost the peppers themselves were still usable. It’s a mix of Cayennetta and Czech Black here, both medium hot peppers. I will use them for cooking and to add a little kick to kombucha.

Cayennetta and Czech Black peppers

Cayennetta and Czech Black peppers

In the future harvests department, I received my first 2019 seed catalog last week. I guess that means it is time to start planning next years garden! I’ll confess, with the rise of online ordering I don’t get as excited about the paper catalogs as I used to. Actually, I try and opt out of as many as I can with the exception of a few like Johnny’s Selected Seeds which has a wealth of growing information I like to have handy. But some of them persist and put me back on their mailing lists anyway. Registering with the Data & Marketing Association’s Do Not Mail List has helped cut down on the amount of unwanted catalogs I receive, and no doubt saved a few trees in the process as well.

first 2019 seed catalog

first 2019 seed catalog

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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Fall Fermenting

I’m starting to harvest lots of fall veggies here, and that means it’s time to get busy fermenting some of them. Fermenting is my favorite way to preserve brassicas like cabbage, kohlrabi and radishes.  We will be enjoying jars of the fermented veggies all winter long, and they help keep us supplied when fresh homegrown goodies are in short supply. Last month I was busy making hot sauces from our hot peppers. I made a sriracha style sauce, a Tabasco style sauce, and a chunky fermented chili-garlic sauce. I made enough for our own use plus some to give away to friends who like it hot.

fermented hot sauces

fermented hot sauces

I already wrote about making kimchi last week, and this week I started a few more jars of it to ferment. I’ve got one jar made with napa cabbage (baechu kimchi), two jars with daikon radish (kkakdugi) and one jar I started yesterday made with kohlrabi. I prepare the kohlrabi exactly like I do the radishes, peeling it and cubing it up then soaking it in a 5% salt brine for 6-8 hours. Then I drain and mix with the seasoning paste. This year I am happy to be using peppers I grew myself for the gochugaru powder, and I am anxious to see how it compares with the commercial powders I have used in the past.

fermented fall veggies

fermented fall veggies

I started one jar of kohlrabi ‘pickles’ yesterday and I hope to make some sauerkraut as soon as the cabbage is ready. For the pickles I cut them into spears, pack them in a jar and cover with a 2% brine solution. I also add a few cloves of garlic to each jar to give a little extra flavor. This is my wife’s favorite ferment, and I try and make lots of it for her since she enjoys it so much.

fermented kohlrabi pickles

fermented kohlrabi pickles

I’m also experimenting with making some ‘green’ flavors of kombucha. I flavored one bottle with powdered chlorella, mint and lime juice. The other I flavored with spirulina powder and lemon. Hopefully they will not taste like something you scrape from the bottom of your lawnmower! My wife and I drink my homemade kombucha daily, and I love to try new flavors. Her favorite is ginger, so she mostly lets me drink the new ones myself. I’ve tried commercial versions of green kombuchas before and liked them, so hopefully I can flavor a homemade version that I like.

green kombuchas

green kombuchas

Regular readers might be wondering where we manage to find room in the refrigerator for all those fermented foods. The answer is – we don’t, and so a couple of years ago we got a small refrigerator we put in the basement just for them. It holds quite a bit, and now we have more room in the main frig for things like fresh veggies from the garden!

ferment frig

ferment frig

I hope you have enjoyed this update about some of the foods I have been fermenting lately. I’ll be back soon with more from Happy Acres!

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Harvest Monday November 5, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The harvests were pretty thin here last week. I pulled a few of the Oasis and Hakurei turnips and cooked them up with the greens and roots together. The greens are starting to taste a little sweeter now that they have been frosted on several times. We got almost 4 inches of rain last Thursday and Friday so the roots were a bit muddy before I cleaned them up.

Oasis and Hakurei turnips

Oasis and Hakurei turnips

I also pulled a few radishes, mainly for making a couple of jars of kimchi. It’s the purple fleshed KN Bravo, the white Alpine and the green fleshed Green Luobo this batch. Some of these may also wind up in a stir fry this week. I have more radishes growing and sizing up in the garden that should keep us supplied for a while.

KN Bravo, Alpine and Green Luobo radishes

KN Bravo, Alpine and Green Luobo radishes

I did do quite a bit of garden work before the big rains came. I cleaned up a couple of beds where tomatoes and sweet potatoes were growing, and got them prepped for the next crop. I spread several cart loads of compost on the beds and worked it in, plus I added other amendments to one bed I need to plant this fall. That bed will be home to garlic and multiplier onions which I need to get planted ASAP when the ground dries a bit. The other bed will be home to the 2019 spring planted brassicas like broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi. You can see in the below photo I still have a lot of work to do, including pulling all the pepper plants and the vining squash vines.

beds ready for planting

beds ready for planting

And speaking of vining squash, I found three more of the Turkeyneck squashes that appeared to have survived the frosts and freeze. I don’t know if they will mature fully indoors or not, but the rinds were hard and I brought them in anyway. These 3 weighed 26 pounds total, a bit over 8 pounds each. After being inside for a few days they are already starting to turn tan.

Turkeyneck squashes

Turkeyneck squashes

And I baked a loaf of Kamut bread for sandwiches. This bread has 50% whole grain kamut flour and 50% ‘white’ kamut. The kamut/khorasan flour has a golden color and a sweet nutty flavor and makes a great sandwich bread. I’ve also used it to make a sturdy sourdough bread in the past.

Kamut bread

Kamut bread

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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