Sunday, April 24, 2011
April Harvest Update and the Emergence of Asparagus
This weekend, I harvested a good amount of greens for an Easter dinner party we attended on Sunday. I picked a bunch of claytonia and added some mizuna, spinach and baby lettuce to the mix. Thankfully, it was a hit!
The Red Russian kale has started to flower. I've been trying to harvest as much as I could, but to be honest, after a long winter I'm looking forward to pulling them up and planting something different. Does anyone know whether kale buds are edible?
I've been harvesting some of our overwintered scallions as well. The remainder of these will have to be pulled, chopped up and frozen as they are showing signs of bolting already.
Finally, our Jersey Supreme asparagus are starting to emerge from the ground. It's nice to see a sight like this, especially on this Easter - a holiday traditionally observed by pagans to celebrate this time of rebirth and fertility.
I planted these asparagus crowns last spring and they eventually grew into healthy plants last year. There is some debate on whether you should begin harvesting the tender shoots in the 2nd or 3rd year, but according to Ohio State University:
The year after planting, asparagus can be harvested several times throughout a three-week period, depending on air temperatures. Research shows there is no need to wait two years after planting before harvesting. In fact, harvesting the year after planting will stimulate more bud production on the crown and provide greater yields in future years, as compared with waiting two years before harvesting.
Sounds good to me! In fact, the spears that are emerging now are of good size so I am looking forward to seeing them on our dinner plate soon.