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!