November 12, 2018

Harvest Monday, 11/12/18

Clockwise from the left are mixed choys, Toraziroh, and Mizspoona gene pool.
Canton White pak choy. I harvested whole plants because they're overcrowded and their bed is too shaded. Even the fast growing broccoli raab in that bed is slow growing, it's just now starting to gain some size.

There's been quite a few light frosts, but I'm hoping a hard frost won't come until December. Even then I'm planning to use garden fleece and straw, if I can actually fine straw.

Please join us at Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.

November 7, 2018

Greens In The Fall Vegetable Garden

This is a long post about the greens I'm growing in the fall garden this year. I like to try out a little of everything, so there are lots of varieties. Friday I'll post the different bulbs and root vegetables that are growing in the other half of the garden, if it doesn't end up raining again. 

These photographs are from October 25th so a week and a half ago.
This little back corner of the garden is boxed in by the greenhouse, back fence, and the little wire fence around my garden on the side of which is our shed that offers lots of shade during the winter. Bad shed! Three beds of greens are located in this area with most of them belonging to the mustard family. Asian mustards are fairly mild without the strong spicy bite some mustards are known for. These were all planted September 13th, so about 6 weeks before these pictures.
In the bed on the left you can see in front the spoon shaped leaves of tatsoi, after that is the Pot Herb mizuna with it's highly serrated leaves, and then long stately leaves of Mibuna.
The tender yellowy green leaves belong to Fun Jen cabbage. The leaves have a delicate flavor and texture much like lettuce.
An unnamed pak choi is to the left of the dark red leaves of Lady Murasaki mustard spinach, and on the right is Senposai.
From front to back this bed has Mizspoona gene pool, Senposai, Baby choi, Pechay pak choy, Yokatta Na, and Toraziroh.
The pak choys are packed close together so they're not getting exceptionally big. I go ahead and cut whole plants when harvesting to give the other plants some room.
This bed looks like it has quite a few empty spots but in reality it just has some achingly slow growing greens.
Red Veined sorrel at 6 weeks. It's still teeny tiny. I truly doubt it'll get much bigger before the first hard frost which should occur at the end of November or beginning of December.
Color Crunch pak choi mix.
Purple Stem choy sum. Choy sums are usually eaten for their flowering stalks. I've grown this a couple times and never seen it bloom, so we go ahead and harvest the leaves. 
Dragon's Tongue rocket is still tiny tiny tiny. It took a long time to germinate on top of being slow growing.
Green Brigade rocket just seemingly appeared overnight, but still pretty slow.
Garnet Giant mustard. I'm curious to try this variety. 
A bed of mild Asian mustards containing mizun, mibuna, and tatsoi. I'll give them another week before we start harvesting this bed.
Tatsoi is a pretty fast growing. The leaves are nice and tender but sturdier than the other two varieties so hold up to longer cooking. They're probably have a slightly stronger flavor as well.
Pot Herb mizuna is a new to me variety of mizuna. The leaves are shorter and you don't get that long pretty stem that keeps it well off the ground, but it still has the lovely serrated leaves. Mizuna usually has a mild flavor that is not at all pungent.
Mibuna. I find the stems on mibuna and mizuna tender and juicy when cooked. The leaves on mibuna can get pretty long.

I usually prepare greens as a simple side by sautéing with onions and garlic, and then add a splash of nuoc mam and some ground pepper. For a little variation I might add soy sauce and ginger, instead of the nuoc mam.
A bed of endives, chicories, and Simpson lettuce.
Pan di Zucchero chicory
Tres Fine Marairchere Olesh endive
Broad-Leaved Batavian endive
I think this is probably Black Seeded Simpson lettuce. I find lettuce seeds difficult to germinate and keep alive during hot weather, only this lettuce and the Freedom lettuce mix survived to transplant age.
Puntarelle chicory
I had just harvested the sweet potatoes from this bed, and then started planting the Freedom lettuce mix the same day but then it began to rain. I've since filled the bed with the rest of the chicories, endives, and lettuce.
The Galega de Folhas Lisas kale and Nero di Toscana kales were planted in the spring and they're still doing great. Although a lot of them have fallen over, especially when I was pulling the sweet potato vines out from under them. The one standing at the post is 4 1/2 feet tall and the leaves are incredibly massive.

Caterpillars love the big leaves of the Galega kale. I had to spray Bt a few times this summer, and then at the very end of the season the grasshoppers were at them. There were a couple harlequin bugs but nothing like previous years where they ended up being terrible infestations.

Looking through these pictures, I realized a couple of beds didn't get covered. One bed held Pink Lettucy mustard gene pool, endive, parsley, and leaf celery. The other bed has a mixture of gai laan, bok choys, and broccoli raab.

The root vegetables will get covered next time. The beets are the best I've ever grown, which isn't saying much, and the carrot tops are the biggest I've gotten while gardening in Kentucky.

November 5, 2018

Harvest Monday, 11/5/18

Toraziroh and Garnet Giant mustard. I harvested tons of greens on Saturday, November 3rd, but haven't tried either of these greens yet. I have high expectations that they'll be delicious.
Clockwise starting on the left we have Canton White pak choy, Senposai in the back, and then the flowering Gunsho choy sum on the right. We actually ate this huge colander full of greens over the weekend as a side dish to a Salisbury steak with white sauce my husband made in the crockpot. They were fantastic together served atop rice. The greens were simply prepared sautéed with onion, garlic, a splash of nuoc mam, and ground black pepper.

It finally cooled down at the end of October and we've been getting rain regularly, which means the greens are really growing now. I'll probably start harvesting radishes and salad turnips this week as well. A friend uses radishes as a substitute for potatoes in dishes, and she said her kids never knew the difference. Then again, her kids are little so maybe they just didn't know the difference?

Please join us at Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres. A strange and wonderous place where questionably sane gardeners brave the wintry elements to tend their gardens and harvest vegetables.

October 15, 2018

Harvest Monday, 10/15/18

The kale plants seeded in March are still with us. Nero di Toscana kale is pictured here along with thinnings of various pak chois.

White moth caterpillars have been a menace this year. I've had to spray with Bt, an organic method of control, multiple times throughout the season. October's temperatures have finally dropped, so hopefully the moths won't be around much longer.
I had already started destemming the Galega de Folhas Lisas kale and trimming the Tall Top Early Wonder beets before I thought to take some pictures. The leaves on this kale are ginormous and the tallest plant is five feet tall. This variety of beet is extremely slow growing, it was planted in June and these are the biggest specimens. It's probably a combination of flea beetles and our hot weather that stunted them.

Both varieties of kale are growing in the shadiest bed. I find them extremely tender, although we don't eat kale raw. They mainly go in soups or just simply sautéed with eggs.

The plan is to harvest sweet potatoes next week if the soil dries out enough. And the Siam Queen basil has been hanging on, we've been eating tons of it in pho. So good, especially with added shrimp which isn't authentic, but delicious nonetheless.

Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

September 10, 2018

Harvest Monday, 9/10/18

The only bell pepper I'm growing this year is Carmagnola Rosso which have started ripening, four of them got picked yesterday. They have a great flavor, but they are super late.

If I was able to plant them outside earlier, I could probably get them to set fruit before the heat caused them to abort their blooms or sterilize the pollen. The last 2 years I've had to wait more than a month after the last frost to plant peppers because the ground was too wet to work.
Spicy pablano and jalapeno peppers. Most of the jalapenos have been getting cracks in their surface, likely from the stress of this year's hot dry summer.

I was planning to stuff the poblanos with cheese, coat them with panko, bake them and freeze the extra. The jalapenos will probably get stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, baked and frozen as well. I've never made jalapeno poppers before, but that's how a couple of friends prepare them using bacon.

The fall garden is so close to being planted. There's just three beds left to plant with greens, and once the sweet potatoes get pulled, fava beans will go in their place to overwinter. I did end up starting tatsoi, mizuna, mibuna, lettuce, and chicory in tubs, so at least they got an earlier start than usual. But we're supposed to get back into the 90's (32 degrees Celsius) at the end of the week. Ugh.

I hope everyone is having a glorious fall with lots of sunshine and cooler weather. Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Acres.