Monday, June 27, 2011

Pick of the Week

Greatings from Washington, DC. I'm just here for 24 hours but already I can't wait to fly home and eat some of the veggies I picked this past weekend. I ended up harvesting both heads of cauliflower.

They're each about the size of a large grapefruit - perfect as a sidedish for two. The big difference between growing cauliflower and broccoli is that with cauliflower, once you cut off the head, that's it. There's nothing left to do but pull up the plant. Our broccoli on the other hand is still producing sideshoots. I wonder how far into the summer this will last. I feel like everytime I cut them off, the plants get weaker and weaker.

My cilantro bolted prematurely a couple of weeks ago and is now beginning to produce seed heads. I love harvesting them at this green coriander stage. They have a flavor in between cilantro leaves and dry coriander seeds. You just pick them off and stick them in the freezer for future use. They last a very long time that way. I might leave a few to fully mature and dry.

Finally, I picked 9 pickling cukes from my four plants. I have a feeling they will be prolific for the next few weeks and then trail off as the plants slowly succumb to beetles, powdery mildew and bacterial wilt - at least this is what happened to my cukes last year. I do have a game plan to try and prevent this from happening this year. I'll spray the plants with multiple applications of pyrethrin at the first sign of the beetles. Hopefully, this will prevent them from eating the foliage and infecting the plants with bacterial wilt. I'll also remove the lower leaves as the vines spread to help prevent the spread of blight, signs of which have already appeared. If anyone has any othe advice on keeping cucumber plants healthy, let me know!

Anyway, I did have time to snack on one before I caught my plane. They are REALLY crunchy, mild tasting and only slight sour on the ends. I can't wait to make pickles!


  1. Beautiful, beautiful cauliflowers. I tried them last year and it was a total failure between the pests that ate the roots of five of them and the earwigs that took up residence in the one remaining plant. But I am up for trying again next year.

  2. Oh your cauliflower looks great and the cilantro is so nice but I especially like the looks of those cute cucumbers!!

  3. Wow, your cauliflower is gorgeous! I haven't tried growing any yet. Maybe next year.
    Your cilantro is really interesting looking. If you weren't going to eat it, it would be pretty cool in a flower arrangement.

  4. That's some beautiful cauliflower Thomas! I'm sure that you will enjoy every single bite! Those cucumbers are looking good....I just put my seeds in about a week ago. So, it will be some time before I have any here!

  5. I'm growing a slow bolting cilantro so it is just starting to flower now. I save the coriander all the time, but never the green coriander. I'll have to try it.

  6. You have some very nice looking cauliflower. Enjoy every bite!

  7. Do you think that growing cauliflower is too much work for just that single head? One of the reasons I love broccoli so much is because of the side shoots... too bad cauliflower does not do the same! You should post your recipe for pickles when you start making them, I would be interested to find out how you do it.

  8. beautiful cauliflower! I didn't know that until very recently (like last week) that coriander seeds are seeds of cilantro. So cool!

  9. I really enjoy your blog - and wanted to mention that you can eat the cauliflower leaves ! Cook the same as you would cabbage or kale. They are delicious.

    Lorraine - Oxfordshire UK

  10. I don't grow cauliflower because it seems such a high maintenance plant for what it produces - but I must say that your gorgeous pics of those snowy white heads has me thinking hard about my position on the matter! Really beautiful. Those cucumbers are pretty exceptional looking too. Yum!