Monday 25 July 2016

Harvest Monday: July 25, 2016

The harvests have more variety as each week passes.  These rainbow carrots were an accidental harvest while weeding.

And I've picked my first tomatoes and some bunching onions.  The fingerling potatoes were from a volunteer plant that had grown up in the space I planted shallots and it needed to be removed.  The potatoes (parboiled), along with some Tuscan kale and that one broccoli spear were tossed with olive oil and baked in the oven for a quick dinner one night.

And more potatoes and carrots were harvested for a stew later in the week.

I've had a few Xanthia peppers throughout the week.  The above picture also shows one Ancho and one King of the North.  I've had what looks like Blossom End Rot on some peppers.  Since they are all in the greenhouse, I should be able to manage the watering and nutrients but obviously not quite consistent in my methods.

And just late Sunday I picked some Royal Burgundy beans and pulled some red onions (and a shallot) while cleaning up the beet bed.

Yesterday I posted about this year's garlic harvest so that wraps up my latest harvests.

Please check out Our Happy Acres on this Harvest Monday to see what other gardeners are doing this week.

Sunday 24 July 2016

2016 Garlic Harvest

After a few years of growing only Red Russian Garlic (a hardneck Rocambole variety), I added Music (a Porcelain type).  And last fall, I planted three other garlic types - Majestic Porcelain, Mennonite Porcelain and German White Rocambole.

The last three types are shown in the main photo (L to R: Mennonite, German White, Majestic).  I've used a few (mostly the Mennonite) earlier in the season, but should have ended up with 8 or so of each.

The German White was to the right of the Mennonite Porcelain in the garden bed and it is likely that I've mixed the two up as I seem to have more of those than I planted!  Or for that matter, I could have mixed them all up when harvesting as the rows weren't quite as straight as I had thought they were when planting.  They all look very similar to me ...

I'm pretty happy with the results as most of the bulbs have a good size and seem to be curing well enough for storage.

Mennonite Porcelain

Majestic Porcelain

German White Rocambole

And the Red Russian:

And Music:

But the harvest was not without problems.  I think that I left them in the ground too long and some have come out a bit mushy.  When I separated the cloves of the mushy bulbs, they were sticky and have a pungent odor (almost like roasted garlic).  This happened with some Music, Red Russian and Mennonite, all of which were in different beds, but all harvested around the same time.

And some of the Music bulbs, though not mushy, have a bluish-green tint.  I'm keeping those ones separate from the others in case it is abnormal.  If anyone has any idea what that might be, I'd appreciate some input - I really don't want to toss them so hoping they are OK to eat (the only reference to "blue-green" on bulb is Penicillium Decay but I don't think that's it as mine aren't rotting at all, they just seem discoloured).

some bulbs have a bluish-green tinge

I will likely pop by the Garlic Festival in a few weeks to pick up some seed garlic for planting this fall (I definitely don't have enough to eat and plant).  And I will check with a few of the growers to see if they have any ideas what this might be.

Monday 18 July 2016

Harvest Monday: July 18, 2016

A few new harvests this week, with one of my favourites being the new potatoes.  These are Linzer potatoes and were served, as I always do with my first potatoes of the year, with butter and truffled oil.  I would not normally harvest potatoes quite this early but a few of the plants have died off - not sure the reason but I will harvest a few more plants in the coming weeks then leave the remainder for at least another month or so.

Along with the small amount of potatoes was another accidental onion harvest plus what is likely the last of the Bon Vivant salad mix.  The plants were just trimmed as I always do but I think I'll pull them out and reseed for a fall lettuce harvest soon.

The other new harvest this week is Tiara cabbage.  The outer leaves were pretty damaged by worm holes so I cut them open just to make sure they were OK inside ... looking good!

I've pulled up the only two cabbage that I managed to grow leaving room in the bed for the broccoli plants to get a bit more space.  I've only had the one broccoli spear so far which was included in last weeks Harvest Monday.  It was tossed with olive oil and baked along with a red pepper and some garlic scapes and eaten with bread and goat cheese.

I can't believe I've never eaten garlic scapes that way ... they were delicious and a bit crispy!

Pop on over to Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners are doing this week as part of the Harvest Monday collection!

Monday 11 July 2016

Harvest Monday: July 11, 2016

This is my submission to the Harvest Monday posts hosted by Our Happy Acres.  I missed last week so this is a two-week summary of what I have harvested (and what I have done with my harvest).

I used this last bit of spinach I could get from the already bolting plants to make a tart (shown in main picture).  A small amount of onion and garlic was sauteed with the spinach, then mixed with some ricotta and goat cheese and baked on puff pastry.  An earlier version of this tart also included some cherry tomatoes.

(L to R) Xanthia, King of the North, Pimiento and Gypsy (at bottom)

These peppers all came from the greenhouse.  These were early ones and I don't anticipate having too many ripe ones for another couple of weeks.  But there are a LOT of peppers coming up on the plants, like these Feher Ozon peppers:

I harvested my first (and so far, the only) broccoli spear.  I noticed two worms on the plant and have not had time to search for more as I haven't been at home much.  Unfortunate, as there are also some nicely formed cabbage in the same bed.  Hopefully I'll have a chance later this week before too much damage is done.

This kale went into a delicious fennel and kale risotto I made when I had company the previous weekend.  I was originally going to make a pasta and realized I had none.  I'm glad I had that box of arborio rice on hand!

White Russian, Tuscan, Curly Scarlet

And my first ever harvest of shelling peas!  This is most of the harvest but I do have some left on the plants that I'll get to later this week.

And a nice looking beet ... for once!!  I think I have a lot of problems growing beets with crowding being the biggest (but by no means the only problem).  Just happy to have this one for now (and the little golden beets are small, but I'm still looking forward to eating them too)!

Check out Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners are doing this week!

Saturday 9 July 2016

Squash Plants in Hay Bales

After a terrible infestation of squash bugs last year, I have moved the squash patch to the south side of the house (so opposite side) thinking I'd fool them and they wouldn't find me!  Well, things haven't been so bad with squash bugs but the cucumber beetles are still an issue.  Ah well ... I have had many mornings of searching for eggs on the underside of leaves and squishing what I could find and am doing so-so on keeping up with them.  I wanted to share a few photos of how they are looking at this stage. 

The bugs seem to focus in on the flowers and so I tend to ruin the flowers when I'm picking bugs.  That means that there are less flowers to be pollinated and form fruit.  At this point, there are very few squash forming but there is plenty of time left!

After a rain, full of drowning cuke beetles

I don't entirely remember where I planted what, but the majority is winter squash with Tromboncino being the only summer squash.  Although I don't know which is which, the winter squash include at least one each of Japanese Pie, Long Island Cheese, Acorn, Butternut squash and some heirloom pumpkins.

All were started from seed with one exception ... the Marina di Chioggia squash (shown below).  This was purchased at a plant sale and is more advanced than the others.  That is likely why most of the bugs are hanging around that one to the point that I've massacred many of the leaves and pulled off several flowers.

Some plants have gotten off to a slow start ... not sure that one on the left will make it??

And one of the hay bales (hard to see, but the one on the right) is already collapsing so not sure if it wasn't as dense as the others or it is just composting at a faster rate.

Considering I haven't paid a lot of attention to these plants lately, I am pretty happy with the results.  I didn't even bother preparing the bales (so didn't "condition" them) but just plopped the plants into a pile of soil on top of the bales.  Around the third week, I watered in some organic fertilizer.  All in all, I'm pretty happy with the current results but really looking forward to seeing some squash forming soon!