Sunday, May 1, 2011
Last Harvest of April
We're finally starting to get a good amount of greens from the garden now that the weather is heating up. I harvested the first of the Shanghai bok choy this week along with the first asparagus spears. All of my Asian greens are sizing up nicely and should provide for many meals in the coming weeks. The slugs have kept away for the most part (Sluggo has worked awesome so far) and I will start applying Dipel dust once a week now that the white butterflies are out.
I've also been surprised by how quickly the Asparagus spears are growing. They put on at least 4-6 inches of growth per day. If I forget to check on them, chances are there will be one or two that have grown too long and tough to eat. I'm looking forward to the crowns being even more productive next year and being able to harvest for a longer period of time.
So I read a really interesting post about "mock broccoli" the other day and decided to clip a few flowering buds from my Red Russian kale to sample. (I have to thank one of my local MA readers for pointing this one out to me!) In it's raw state, the buds tasted pleasantly sweet and surprisingly a lot like broccoli. I decided to harvest all of them, which I then sauteed very quickly with a bit of butter for dinner. The results??? All I can say is "WOW!" It was like eating broccoli raab without any of the bitterness. The buds, stems and young leaves were sweet and very tender (unlike the stems and leaves on most mature kale).
The best part about harvesting the main flowering bud was that a couple days later, I went out into the garden and there were tons of side shoots. Who knew that overwintered Red Russian kale would offer this added bonus? Not me. Now I feel really silly about not harvesting my flowering kale before.
Sadly, I did have to dig up all of my kale plants today in order to make room for my potatoes. However, I did manage to pick a good amount of leaves to freeze and also gave a ton to my next-door neighbor.
Finally - the claytonia is still hanging in there. Even at this flowering stage, the leaves are delicious.
As a side note -I kind of regret deciding not to weigh my harvests this year as I'm sure the heavier numbers will slowly begin to roll in as the season progresses. Oh well. I might just weigh a select few crops this year like cukes, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, melons, peppers and potatoes. That way, I can at least have some figures to archive without feeling obligated to whip out the scale every time I pick something from the garden.