November 30, 2015

Harvest Monday, 11/30/15

Cima di Rapa, mostly side-shoots so they are a bit small.
From the left: Shogoin turnip, Amber Ball turnip, Golden Ball turnip, and Di Milano A Colletto Viola turnip.
This week's harvest is much the same as last week. I had planted several varieties of turnips all about the same time except Shogoin was in the ground 2 weeks earlier than the other turnips. It has been raining nonstop for a few days and one of the Di Milano A Colletto Viola turnips has split across the bottom assumably due to the wet squishy weather.

The Shogoin turnips were mild raw, but not sweet. I'm planning on roasting the rest of the turnips which is supposed to bring out their sweetness.

The lettuces are getting a little bit bigger, maybe by December we can start harvesting them. Does anyone else have problems getting red lettuces to germinate? All 3 red varieties had very sparse germination on the homemade seed tape, but the green lettuces did great.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I feel like I've been eating nonstop for days.

Join us at Our Happy Acres Harvest Monday, where diehard gardeners are consumed by their passion for gardening.

November 23, 2015

Harvest Monday, 11/23/15

I pulled three carrots to give them a try with Red Cored Chantenay on the left, Danvers #126 in the middle, and Kuroda 8 Inch on the right.
You can see just how tiny the carrots were, perfect size for a toddler.
Di Milano A Colleto Viola turnip
Sessantina cima di rapa (sprouting turnip)
Ta Mei Hwa radish
We've been harvesting the thinnings from the Sessantina cima di rapa (sprouting turnip) bed for quite some time and enjoying lots of tasty greens, and with diligent thinning the sprouts are getting bigger and I finally got a big harvest of turnip sprouts. 

The regular turnip roots and radishes are sizing up as well so I'll need to find more different ways to prepare their greens. Di Milano A Colleto Viola turnips are so lovely, wherever their roots are burnished by the sun they turn a very pretty pink. Too bad it's been a very very warm fall and the Ta Mei Hwa daikon radish roots are too spicy which makes me wary of the turnips that were planted close to the same time.

The last time I planted radishes in September/October it was a very cold fall and the radishes got huge and were so delicious. It's good I've been doing so many succession plantings this year, maybe I'll get a few tasty roots once it gets consistently cold. We actually just got our first hard freeze on Saturday, November 21st, which will be followed by a string of cold days but it's supposed to warm up into the 60's by Thursday, just in time for Thanksgiving.

I pulled 3 carrots from beds planted the last week of August. The 3 different varieties each had a distinctive flavor and texture. Red Cored Chantenay was crunchier with a complex flavor, Danvers #126 was sweeter and more tender, and the Kuroda 8 Inch which you could tell hadn't even colored up yet had a complex flavor but was milder than Chantenay. My husband and I shared bites of them and they were delicious but tiny. Tiny. And the beds are pretty much shaded all the time now so . . . We'll see what they do in the spring before my partner tills the whole yard.

There haven't been any harvest weighings for quite some time because the digital scale has found a permanent home in my husband's pottery workshop.

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving in the US? I made ginger chicken with rice, lightly boiled cabbage, and a big pot of turnip greens to hold us over during the week before the feast.

On Thanksgiving we like to watch the dog show while eating light snacks and cooking. We are set to have green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cheesy potato casserole, mash potatoes and gravy, fried corn, turkey, ham, stuffing, biscuits, cranberry sauce, apple pie, and cherry pie. My husband is doing the casseroles the day before as you can tell he loves casseroles, otherwise it's just a turkey breast and tiny ham.

Please join us at Harvest Monday hosted by Our Happy Acres where gardeners far and wide share what's happening in their gardens.

November 19, 2015

Garlic Planted in November in Styrofoam Containers

Unknown red hardneck garlic variety. All 8 cloves, and 2 out of 3 tiny bulbettes have sprouted.
I finally planted the last of the garlic in styrofoam boxes last week. 50 cloves were planted in 4 boxes, I've been debating whether or not to plant another box of garlic.

4 garlic varieties were planted. Rossa di Sulmona is a pungent hardneck variety that I purchased online, my husband cooked some tomato sauce with leftover cloves and it was wonderfully sweet and spicy. Viola Francese is a softneck type that was also purchased online. There's an unknown red hardneck variety that was purchased at a grocery store in March which I remember to be exceptionally tasty, and the cloves being fairly old had just begun to sprout. And lastly there's an unknown white softneck variety that was purchased recently at the same grocery store, surprisingly the cloves looked like they might have started forming roots before being planted.

The garlic was planted about 2 inches deep and maybe 4-5 inches apart. The styrofoam containers are actually shipping containers that would normally get thrown away, so they are thicker and bigger than most styrofoam coolers. It's been raining the last 3 days so the boxes have been hanging out under cover. As an experiment I removed the papery skins off the cloves of the unknown varieties before planting.

And today it looks like all 4 garlic varieties have a few cloves sprouting out of the soil.

November 1, 2015

Voles Have Invaded the Garden

We've never had problems with voles before but their tunnels are everywhere. It all started in September. There must be a population explosion because they are in everyone's yard and I've seen a few lush lawns destroyed by them in neighboring properties. My coworker was saying how he's never seen anything like it before.