Monday, May 28, 2018

Harvest Monday - May 28, 2018


It's been a busy time in the garden - our recent sprint from winter to spring to summer has done away with the gradual progression of growth.  Instead, we have had one huge leap from virtually nothing to everything growing like gangbusters.

And the heat!  I feel like the witch from Wizard of Oz..."I'm melting!" - although compared to Dave's upper 90's highs (35C+), we are not too bad off, apparently.

On the harvest front, things are still rather slow.  I harvested from the asparagus beds for about 3 weeks, harvesting rather selectively (i.e. only the thicker stalks) over the past week.  Now I'm going to let the plants do their thing and fern out.


This is the first proper year of picking and I don't want to overdo it.  Next year I'll pick for an additional week or two and then continue to extend the harvest period each year until it's at around 7-8 weeks. I've been more than happy with the total harvest in this first year.  "How much was that?" I hear you ask.  Over the 3 week period, we harvested 7.15 kg grams (15.76 lbs) - not too shabby!

This morning a few more goodies were finally (!!) ready to be picked:  arugula, baby Chinese greens and radishes.

Baby Chinese greens, Red Russian kale & Speedy arugula

I often find arugula a bit too strong for my taste but this particular variety, Speedy, is lovely and mild (thanks to Michelle for letting us know about this one).

When it comes to the baby Chinese greens, however, I have mixed feelings.  One of the issues that I often have with pre-mixed seed packets is that you never know what you will get.  In this case, some of the greens have a rather strong bite which makes them not very kid friendly, at least when it comes to my kids.  I do like the idea behind the mixed greens but I would rather create the mix myself so that I choose which greens to include (or exclude).

As for the radishes, I haven't tried them yet but I'm hoping the heat hasn't made them too spicy - I'll find out at lunch today 😁

Lady Slipper, Easter Egg and French Breakfast radishes

One final "harvest" this week - pepitas.  Last year I grew a pumpkin variety called Pepitas which produces hulless seeds.  Well, that pumpkin was sitting in our basement all winter and I finally cut it open last week - one thing's for sure, this one is a great keeper!  One problem though - the quantity of seeds was rather skimpy:

Pepitas Pumpkin

In fact, after cleaning, I ended up with a whopping 18 grams (1 oz) of seeds - which wasn't even a quarter cups worth:

The pepitas haul...not exactly impressive

I roasted them up with a bit of salt and they were delicious, but delicious enough to be worth the effort and growing space?  Not really.  Last year was rather dismal when it came to the winter squash harvest, so perhaps that had something to do with it.  Only one Pepita squash was harvested and it was significantly smaller than the 9-12 lbs listed on the seed packet so I'm thinking it may be worth giving it another go at some point.

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is our host for Harvest Mondays.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

18 comments:

  1. Your asparagus has done so well, just think of the amount you'll be harvesting in a few years time. Did you grow the pepitas for the seeds alone or will you eat the flesh too?

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    1. I really hope that this is a sign of good things to come in the asparagus beds. As for the squash, I will be eating the flesh too, but a taste told me it was rather bland. I don't want to waste it though, so I'm thinking of incorporating it into a rissoto dish that has some wine added for a bit of extra flavour.

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  2. Wow on your first season of the asparagus! That is a great haul. And it should just keep on getting better and better in the years to come. Interesting report on the Pepitas too. I did get about a cup from each one of mine last year, but after drying it made for less than that. I'm trying one called Naked Bear this year, we will see how it does! And let me say I was inside enjoying the a/c when our temps hit the 90's yesterday. It's another scorcher today.

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    1. Ha - what did we ever do without a/c? I'm actually rather surprised at how much asparagus we harvested - I had it in my head that we would be harvesting about that much once it hit its full stride. And wow - a cup of pepitas per squash - that would actually be a worthwhile harvest, especially if the vine produced a few squash. I'll be watching for your evaluation on the Naked Bear - I get the naked part, but I'm wondering where the bear comes in :)

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  3. Woohoo! Yay for asparagus. Those few of years of babying your asparagus is really paying off. I'm afraid to try those mixed Asian greens, it seems like they put too many pungent mustards in there. Then again it might be the warm weather. There's such a wide diversity of greens out there, I'm always ordering new varieties.

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    1. You are right about the mustards - I think that is exactly what is turning me off the mixes. I don't mind a leaf or two, but since I have no idea what I'm sowing, it's luck of the draw as to whether you will get a good proportion of mild to pungent.

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  4. You may not think that you have harvest much but it far more than we have.

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    1. I think many of us are off to a slow start this year. I am confident that you will be carting home boxes of produce in no time at all.

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  5. I'm with you on the premixed packets, one of my biggest issues with them is that there's always one or two varieties that grow bigger and faster and crowd out the slower growers. It's easier to grow what you want separately and mix them as you want.

    Your asparagus harvests are enviable. I'm still amazed that you started them from seed.

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    1. I'm sort of amazed at the asparagus too, especially when I think back to those fragile, grass-like seedlings. I was rather doubtful that they would even survive much less produce a substantial harvest.

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  6. It's amazing your pumpkin lasted that long. I had a couple left in garage that got mushy and had to be thrown out. Everything looks great. Your asparagus is just taking off for sure!

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    1. Some squash varieties certainly last much longer than others. Butternuts last a good long time too but we tend to use them up more quickly (or cook them up and freeze them so that they are at the ready for a quick soup).

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  7. Lucky you! I really miss my asparagus patch. Your greens do look lovely. Arugula I find a bit too strong also but can eat it mixed with other greens. Will have to keep in mind about "Speedy" Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy :) Speedy really is quite mild compared to "regular" arugula so it's worth giving a go.

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  8. Your asparagus is looking very healthy, and I admire your restraint in only cutting the fattest stalks. I sometimes grow squashes for hull-less seed and found Lady Godiva to have plenty, but the flesh is pretty bland unfortunately. The seeds are lovely eaten raw too

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    1. It does require effort to not cut every stalk, that's for sure! Thanks for the hulless seed squash suggestion - I've added Lady Godiva to my seed list :)

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  9. Love fresh asparagus. Also pumpkin seeds. We've had some of those super hot days. Crazy after so many cold days just recently.

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    1. Crazy is the word for it. Today it is supposed to be prime gardening weather with a high of only 71F - I'm planning on making good use of it!

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