Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Week's Harvest - Spinach and Carrots

lettuce and spinach harvest
In addition to the usual lettuce (I gave this batch to my neighbor), I harvested a good amount of spinach this past weekend (the first of the season). My fall spinach has been affected by slugs, but to a lesser extent than the brassicas. I am very happy with the variety I'm growing this year ("Space F1"). I've found it in the early morning covered with frost only to bounce back a couple hours later without the slightest hint of damage. If anything, lately it seems as though they prefer the unprotected environment outside of the hoop houses.

carrot harvest 2
I've also started harvesting my fall carrots (Nantes). I pick a few each day to snack on raw. They measure between 4 to 5 inches long and are delightfully sweet tasting. It's amazing how different they are from packaged store-bought carrots, which seem almost unnaturally orange and relatively bland. Jonathan loves my homegrown carrots. Whenever we go outside, he will head straight for the vegetable garden and ask for a carrot. I love watching Jonathan as he grips a carrot by its stems and munches on the root while he goes about his play. One of the joys of being a gardener/parent.

spinach harvest
The spinach was washed, spun dry and destined for Saturday night's dinner. From garden to fork in a matter of a couple hours. Does it get any better than that?

Pasta Shells Stuffed with Ricotta, Sweet Sausage and Homegrown Spinach

If you'd like to see what others are harvesting or would like to show off your own, visit Harvest Mondays at Daphne's Dandelions.


  1. the stuffed shells look delicious! I am so with you on the garden to table thing...isn't it so rewarding? Gorgeous harvest...yet another reminder to me to get my fall seeds planted ON TIME!

  2. Spinach is one of my favorite greens. Your harvest of it is particularly nice looking. I may have to give that variety a try this coming year.

    Absolutely nothing beats walking the produce into the house and starting to cook. It just does not get any better than that.

  3. Lovely produce Thomas. I think the fall grows the best greens, when the slugs leave them alone. Did you try out that sluggo? You pasta dish looks great. I am try out a sausage & fennel pasta dish some time this week, looks like I will have to try your recipe as well.

  4. I used to wipe carrots off in the tall grass and eat them right out of my grandfather's garden. AND I want to be your neighbor! :)

  5. Your comment about Jonathan reminds me of my daughter when she was young. She did love the carrots, but the weird one was when she pulled the onions and ate them. Not the green onions mind you, but the big sharp onions. She would eat them just like an apple. My tastebuds would always cringe when I saw it but I would never say anything.

  6. Hi Thomas, you've been tagged. I know you've already received it, but I've awarded you the Honest Scrap Award. Visit my blog to collect it.

  7. Your lettuce and spinach are so beautiful! It's impossible to buy such perfect looking greens. And the stuffed shells look oh so good, I can just imagine the wonderful aroma and flavor.

  8. I've still got spinach, red chard and leeks growing - and brassicas for spring, but my carro crop was a disaster ...... I planted FIVE long rows of carrots and got ....ONE! One single, solitary but perfect carrot! I am so jealous at your carrot crop :)

  9. Lovely spinach and recipe it went in. I grew Space earlier in the season and had leaf miner. Wish I had tried it again, maybe I'd be eating some of it now.

  10. Michelle - Don't make me remind next fall, because I will! I expect to see a wonderful fall garden from you next year!

    kitsapFG - Spinach is definitely one veggie that has grown on me since I've gotten older. I hope you try that variety next year. I highly recommend it!

    Dan - I went to the largest plant nursery near where we live and they were out of sluggo...or any other slug remedy for that matter. I looks like most nurseries have gotten rid of much of their inventory this time of year.

    Millhill- I would love to have you as a neighbor! We would have so much fun gardening and exploring!

    Daphne - onions???? It's so strange what kids will eat from the garden...I guess it's more about the novelty of it. But I also think there's an innate desire in all of us to harvest/forage.

    Lou- thank you for the reward...I will definitely drop by to claim it!

    Michelle - I will admit, the shells were pretty good. Hopefully one day, we can all sit down for a mega garden to table potluck!

    Ms. Nutty Gnome - I'm sorry to hear about your carrots! Since next year will be might first full year of growing, I will be interested to find out what works and does not work in my garden.

    Sally - I will be interested to see how some of my fall crops will do in the Spring, which I'm sure will present many different challenges.

  11. O boy..stuffed shells are my favorite...they look so good....

    All of us "blogging buddies"...(I love how you said that) sure would have fun sharing a Thanksgiving dinner together.....

    More later,

  12. hmm I should really learn to proof read before I comment, ha! If you are looking for sluggo it is available by mail order from Pine Tree Garden Seeds, I think I am going to order some, slugs get even worse in the spring. Did you hear it works well from someone?

  13. Dan, I left a longer comment on your blog but here is a video on sluggo.

  14. Hi Thomas. Here i am, late as usual reading and commenting... Your fall garden looks wonderful! When i had a bigger veggie garden, i still never had enough foresight to get a fall garden started. Isn't it the most wonderful thing to see your child clutching in his hand the healthy food that you grew?!