Monday, June 6, 2011

Harvest Monday - June 6 2011

Monday's harvest was just some lettuce that never got its photo taken. My townhouse mates had just gotten back from a trip and asked if I had any salad makings. You don't have to ask me twice. I picked a couple of head of lettuce to give them.

Tuesday's harvest was the start of several new things I was harvesting this week. Now the cilantro I picked should have been picked sooner. Sometimes things just get overlooked in the garden. I picked more later in the week, but forgot to weigh or photograph it. Expect that from a lot of the herbs and probably the celery. Unless I'm making a larger harvest I'll probably not worry about the small bits here and there.

Wednesday's harvest contained several new harvests and it was huge so had multiple photos. The first up is the monstrous Chinese cabbage. The smaller one on the right is a normal sized 2 pound cabbage. But the big one that I showed you earlier in the week was over 5 pounds. These are the first and only spring Chinese cabbages this year. So they were much anticipated.

Then we had some boring things I've been harvesting all spring long. Some Komatsuna and some mizuna. OK so maybe not boring. But not new for this week.

But the above basket I was dancing about. I love broccoli. This contains three heads of broccoli totaling just over a pound. This is the best I've ever done with broccoli before. This variety is Packman and will produce a lot of side shoots too. In addition I have two other kinds that will form heads later. Also new in this basket is my first celery harvest. Right now the ribs are pretty small, but they and the leaves are very flavorful. And loved but put in the bottom was my first dill harvest of the year.

Friday's harvest was also a first and a much anticipated harvest. It was my garlic scapes. I grow both hardnecks and softnecks, but only hardneck garlic gives scapes. Softnecks can, but only will if very stressed. So far I've had scapes in salad dressing, in a stir fry, and my favorite in a grilled pizza. Yum.

Now I had been picking lettuce a couple times a week as I needed it, but on Saturday I had to clear out half the lettuce bed to put in the summer lettuce. So the harvest was just huge. That pile is not quite four pounds of mixed lettuce. I tossed a lot of it at my townhousemates and they made it into a huge salad for a party they were going to. But I have plenty in the fridge for the coming week.

Last Harvest Monday I was anticipating my snowpea harvest as the plants were in full bloom. Technically I haven't had a harvest, but the reality is that peas have been eaten, but they have yet to make it inside to photograph or weigh.

  • Alliums 0.52 lbs
  • Broccoli 1.07 lbs
  • Greens 13.06 lbs
  • Herbs 0.21 lbs
  • Turnips 0.74lbs lbs
  • Weekly Total 15.61 lbs
  • Yearly Total 51.74 lbs
  • Weekly spent $0
  • Still in the hole $-335.90

So far this garden has produced amazing amounts of food. It is about two to three times the size of my last garden (570sqft here, about 230sqft at the old house), but my yearly total is 51.74lbs (so my old garden producing the same would have been at 20lbs). Last year at this time I was only at 10.20lbs. The year before I was at 12.98. So far this garden is 70% more productive than my last one. I wonder if it is the heat the garden gets. It is surrounded by asphalt on one side and a brick path on the other. Do close houses reflect the light? My house is light yellow and my neighbor's is white. Is it the nice soil instead of the heavy clay at my old house? Whatever the reason, I'm amazed at how much better things grow here.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.


  1. Hard to say why one garden, or one year is more productive. Some of it could be the gardener too, you know? You should take some of the credit too! I rarely take the time to weigh herbs. Usually I'm in a hurry to use them for some dish.

  2. Envy your wonderful broccoli. We still have to wait for another 2 months. I am getting curious with garlic scape. Hopefully I don't forget about them.

  3. Nice looking broccoli! And scapes!! I'm not there yet but I'm looking forward to it. Love that mizuna by the way.

  4. How exciting to have your garden at your new place producing more....time for a bigger freezer ;)

    I am jealous of your broccoli! Our's will be awhile yet!

  5. Glad to hear your garden is so productive this year. I agree with villager, that its also you the gardener as you plan and take care of all those plants.

  6. You are getting some nice diversity in your harvest now. Mine is still all greens. Your post reminded me that I forgot to mention my lettuces in my own Harvest Monday post. Like you, when I pick a small bit of something here and there I often do not weigh it or take pictures and sometimes it gets weighed but just not photographed. One or two lonely green onions needed for a recipe do not make a very interesting picture!

  7. No harvest Monday post for me this week. I'm at Emily's. I have two teens watering at home and though they're supposed to pick the snow peas I don't think they have been. I guess I'll have to shell snow peas when I get home because they'll be too mature to eat the pod.
    Nice looking harvest that you're having.

  8. You have gotten an amazing amount of food from this garden! I would think that soil content and light has to be number one and number two! Though bringing in an excellent gardener like villager said always helps too!! 50 pounds of food already this year, wow!!

  9. Yup, what Villager said. Those gorgeous plants don't just spring up unbidden! Everything looks great, I am salivating over the broccoli!

  10. Your broccoli looks wonderful. I got my last side shoot 2 weeks ago and I already miss the stuff. We go through a lot of it here.

  11. Your harvests are always a marvel! Looks wonderful with such piles and piles of greens!

  12. Your harvest looks good but the broccoli is wonderful!!!

    I think the TLC from your hand has contributed to the great harvest. Plus you had the opportunity to design this garden according to your heart's desire!!

  13. Hmmmmm....guess my comment didn't take. I was just saying how excellent your harvest this week looks and that I seems you don't have any issues with slugs considering how perfect your Chinese cabbages look.

  14. You've got a winning combination of good gardener, good site, and good soil working for you! 570 sqft isn't a huge garden, I'm continually amazed by how much food can be grown in a small space. Your broccoli looks great, I might have to experiment with that variety.

  15. What a wonderful harvest! I'm inclined to think that the better soil makes a big difference in the performance of your garden.

  16. I'll have to try the Packman broccoli; I planted De Cicco which apparently gets smaller main heads but a lot of side shoots.

  17. What a great harvest this week! I am completely jealous of your broccoli! I'm not growing it yet and am super excited to start!

  18. no, none of your harvest is ever boring! Ha! You probably won't find half of the things you grow in the grocery store and no where near as pretty, so even if you show it week after week, it is not boring!

    I'll get to look through everyone's harvests later, probably after the kids are in bed! Impossible to do during the day this year! They want to be outside a lot, which doesn't hurt me any, that is just more time I can spend in the garden while they play!

  19. I need to get up earlier, I'm always #25.

    You're sure beating my butt in harvests this year....good for you, you deserve it with that lovely garden and all the work you put into it.

  20. You've had an amazingly wonderful harvest!

  21. Nice diverse harvest, you've been working hard to get your garden up and running, the veggies feel your love and payback for your loving care.

  22. scapes on grilled pizza... now that sounds good, even right now for breakfast!

  23. I enjoyed reading your statistics. I am tempted to try that. How do you calculate the money? Do you price every item out at the "market" price?

  24. your cilantro looks amazing! Did you grow it from seed? direct sow? I was hoping to grown some this year - but never got around to it. I may try to buy a plant to speed up the harvest timeline so that I have it to make salsa once my tomatoes are ready!

  25. Daphne, I also think that blogging increase veggie yields too - the fact that you are photographing and writing about your produce can mean that you give it more loving care and attention - at least, that's what I've found!
    You have some pretty unusual crops on the go too: love the garlic scapes and the purple mizuna.

  26. What a great harvest! am jealous of your brocoli, I am still watching and waiting for mine. I enjoy learning how you manage your garden, it is always nice to learn from a more experienced gardener.

  27. Hi, I guess my earlier post didn't take. Let's try again.
    I love your blog. I live in Peabody, not too far from you. Therefore, I use you as my growing guide. Last week you made chive blossom vinegar. When I got home from work I snipped off my chive blossoms and made vinegar. It would have never occured to me if you hadn't posted. Thanks. Now to find some recipes to use vinegar with.

    I have a question about the cilantro. I've planted some and it's coming up nicely, but I want it mostly to use with tomatoes and peppers for salsa and they won't be ready for a little while yet. Do you keep on planting cilantro so you'll have some reading at tomatoe time, or do you just hold it in the fridge?

    I hope you'll post your recipe for chamomile mint tea. As luck would have it i've planted both of those this year and would love to try tea.

    Thanks for the time you take with your garden and the blog.


  28. Broccoli rules, although the chinese cabbage is not so bad either! The good harvest may be because it's the garden you were meant to have. Maybe next year the weather will be good for sugar snap peas.

  29. Looks good, especially the broccoli! Mine are pretty tiny still, no head for at least a month.

  30. Mmmm broccoli! I'll have to harvest my romanesco soon, but it's not looking anywhere near as good as yours. Obviously not the best crop for a balcony garden.

  31. I as so busy yesterday I didn't get one chance to respond or read anyone's blog. I'm so sad. Usually it takes me two days to get through them, but I'm done by Tuesday and at the latest Wednesday. Oh I feel so behind.

    villager, it is true that a tiny bit was the gardener this year. I did better about growing enough starts to put my greens close together and then thinning for the dinner table. But those thinnings just don't compare much in weight to the mature picked greens. At the most they could account for 5-10%

    Diana, garlic scapes are a fun treat in season.

    Ottawa Gardener, I've been eating a lot of mizuna. I like it better than lettuce as a sandwich green.

    Allison, lol I do have a big freezer. Right now it has a lot of pig in it. But it is rapidly filling up. I have soups frozen and some spinach.

    Emily, true, but it was the same gardener at my last house.I do learn things over time, but not enough to make that much of a difference in a year.

    Laura, I know and small bits of herbs really don't weigh all that much. Though I can easily use an ounce of cilantro at a time, so I ought to be weighing that one.

    Marcia, you could always let them dry and pick that as seed for next year too. I can rarely get peas to dry right here, usually it is wetter at this time of year. But this year has been so dry I might have a chance.

    Megan, I'm shocked too. It is a lot of food to be eating. I can't imagine what this summer will bring. But this year is a good trial to see how much of things I have to grow and what I have to switch to other crops.

    Ali, thanks

    Barbie, I need to stay home and cook some. We keep going out and every time I can only think that I have so much produce to use up in the kitchen.

    RandomGardner, thanks.

  32. Debbie, I had fun designing both this and my last garden. I liked the weird angles of the last garden. I had to fit it into the space without cutting too many trees down. So it had strange angles. This one is easier to deal with. Strange angles are harder to plant up and get to.

    Thomas, no the slugs are just now starting to invade the plot. It started as clean soil so no bugs of any kind. But as time goes on, first the bad bugs will find them, then the good. I've got to hope I can survive the transition before the good bugs get here.

    michelle, it amazes me too. At my last garden I always tried to eek out about a pound per square foot. I think I'm going to get more here.

    foodgardenkitchen, I think it makes a huge difference too. Especially since the good soil goes down so far.

    Deb, this one doesn't make a monster head, but a good sized one and keeps putting out side shoots.

    Bee Girl, good luck when you do.

    Shawn Ann, you are like me. I love to look at everyone's photos and I don't get bored of the repetition.

    Granny, lol well I get up pretty early in the morning (though take a while to write the post) and I'm three hours ahead of you in time zones. So if you want to be number one, you will just have to get up really really early. Like 4am. Personally I recommend sleeping in and being later to the party. And I just hope I can get a very large total by the end of the year. Wouldn't it be fun to break 1000 pounds. I'm not sure how the corn would get weighed though. And the dried beans will really bring my weight down. Not that I care as long as I get to eat dried beans all winter long.

    Lynda, thanks

    Mac, thanks. They have been very happy with me (well not he peppers, but the rest of them).

    Brie, it was delicious. they make a good pairing. But what is not to love about garlic and pizza?

    Patricia, yes I do market price when I can find the veg for sale. I use the farmers market as that is where I'd shop during the summer. For the weird things that no one else grows I use like things to find the price. Things like tatsoi are easy to find, but Komatsuna I've never found there. But if it were, it would probably be the same price as the other Asian greens. I don't change the price over the season though. For instance tomatoes can start at $5/pound and then drop to $4/pound. Some might even drop to $3/pound for a week if they have way too much of them. I would always stick to the main season price which is $4/pound. I didn't redo the prices last year, but I ought to check them this year.

  33. Liz, yes I grew it from seed. It is Caribe cilantro. I grew transplants inside to stat with, but transplanted them out as soon as they were up. They have a tap root and it is better if that root isn't cut short. I have some more that I've direct seeded right next to them. I'll let a lot of the first batch bolt and scatter the seeds all over the garden, saving some for me. But I planted thickly so I'm chopping down every other plant to eat. Cilantro is hard to time. The seeds don't germinate quickly. They all bolt very fast in the heat, and transplanted ones are even worse. The best way to make sure you have some is to keep sowing it every couple of weeks.

    Mark Willis, I agree with you. The blog is also a great record. I do keep records in Excel, but don't keep the sheets of when things were started (I should transcribe them but I don't). I always try to put that in the blog, then I can look back. I also make some notes to myself on my blog that I can search for.

    Nartaya, this garden is so large that it takes a LOT of work. My old garden didn't take nearly as much. Though the digging was harder there. Part of it though is that it is a new garden and things are still getting worked out.

    Jan, cilantro won't hold in the fridge for long. The best way to keep it fresh is to put it in a jar of water in the fridge and loosely cover the tops with a plastic bag. It needs air, so don't tighten the bag down. And when I'm good I'll succession sown cilantro since it doesn't hold long in the ground either. It bolts fast. Sow more seed every couple of weeks. When I don't so this, I don't have tomatoes and cilantro together. Cilantro is more of s spring herb and tomatoes are a summer veggie so you really have to work at it if you want them together. Partially shaded areas help to keep it from bolting in the heat too. For the tea I just toss in some chamomile blossoms and some chocolate mint leaves. There really isn't a recipe.

    Matron, thanks

    Gardenvariety-hoosier, lol I like that. Yes the garden I was meant to have. My first garden ever was small as I had a small back yard and lots of trees. I didn't actually get an in ground one until my oak tree died in a hurricane. That one was about 4'x14' or just over 50 sqft. Then I moved and got the one that was just over 200sqft. Now I have 570qft and room for a handful of dwarf trees. So every move I get more garden. I'd better not move again though. I don't think I could handle a larger garden. This one is so big it is hard in the spring.

    Dan, and the broccoli was so good. Yum. I was even nice and let my townhouse mates have some.

    Ivynettle, I guess you learn what grows well for you too. It must be so much harder being confined to a balcony. The choices are more limited and you really want to maximize what you get.

  34. I guess that my comment didn't take either yesterday. You had a great harvest this past week for sure. I really think it helps when you start a new garden with really good clean soil. All of my beds here at the house were started with great soil that we had delivered like you did. I also agree with Villager. Give yourself some credit! Most of it was you!

  35. Wow I didn't even get halfway through the list yesterday. I hope I've got more time today to read them all. At least the gardening is done for the day.

  36. Hi Daphne!

    I've been following your blog and I'm pretty new to gardening, but you and your network of bloggers have helped me tremendously! I've finally produced my first harvest and would like to know if I can be a part of your Harvest Mondays.

    Thank you so much!