Monday, May 30, 2011

Harvest Monday - May 30 2011

The harvests keep growing.The first harvest of last week was on Monday. My neighbors have a maple sapling growing up in exactly the south corner of my yard. If allowed to grow it would shade my whole back yard in 20 years as it is a 60-70 foot tree at maturity. I would watch the steady death of my garden. I wrote them a letter and put it in a basket of goodies. I told them I would be happy to buy them another tree that was shorter and farther from the garden. Today they said yes. You don't know how relieved I am. Well maybe you do. You are all gardeners too. You just never know how neighbors will react. And living in the city you have to live with what your neighbors do, one way or the other.

So in each of the baskets (there are two units on that lot) I put one Yakatta-na, one Shanghai bok choy, one head of Deer Tongue lettuce, one head of Little Gem lettuce, some spinach.

And some Swiss chard. I'm guessing I'll bring them other baskets on occasion too, because you just know I'll have too much of something.

Tuesday's harvest was all about the weather. The heat was coming in. A lot of my beautiful Asian greens would bolt in 90F weather. So instead, I picked them. I found a couple of turnips that had sized up too. I still didn't pick them all, hoping they would live through the heat.

Thursday I ran out of lettuce in the fridge so picked some more. I also picked some herbs that I forgot to weigh or photograph. They became ranch dressing before I even thought about it. I've decided that French is really my favorite. I can live without ranch.

Friday I noticed that the chive blossoms had opened up all the way, so harvested them. I did however forget to weigh them. Not everything gets in the tally.

Saturday's Harvest was huge. After all the heat I noticed signs of bolting in the spinach bed. It was time to pull all the plants and put in some warm weather crops.

In addition I had some radishes in that bed. I didn't weigh the tops this time as I didn't keep them. I have more than enough greens. And it is just too hot to make radish top soup for the winter.

Then I checked out the brassica/Asian greens bed. I saw flowers forming on the Fun Jen and tatsoi. They got picked along with some turnips that had sized up.

I've been asked if I can eat all of the crops that come out of the garden. Nope. I can't. I do eat a lot of it, but I also give some away. By the end of the summer, I'll give a lot away. I also preserve some for winter. So far I have nine half cups of frozen spinach already. And two servings of radish top soup.

  • Greens 12.56 lbs
  • Radishes and Turnips 0.99 lbs
  • Weekly Total 13.56 lbs
  • Yearly Total 36.13 lbs
  • Weekly spent $20.57
  • Still in the hole $-376.19

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. I'm so happy your neighbors were agreeable. And I think the way you asked probably had a LOT to do with that. Yea for gardening in a non-shaded yard!

  2. I am so glad to hear that you have very supportive neighbours. At the moment I have many excess flower seedlings need to be transplanted. I thought about asking my neighbours if I can plant some flowers on the driveway along the fence since we share the same driveway. Maybe I should start to pen a letter too. Your greens are so shiny and healthy!

  3. Look at all of those greens! How do you use it all?

  4. How wonderful that your neighbors agreed to your bargain. Your greens look amazing! Such a variety of colors and textures.

  5. Do your neighbours grow veg too? If not, maybe your tactful gift-supported approach will convert them!
    I'm interested in the Asian Greens, because I am growing some of these this year. What do you do with the Tatsoi? Do you cook it or eat it raw?

  6. Daphne your greens always look so beautiful the way you arrange then in the baskets!!

    Do you notice that your chive blossoms attract a lot of different 'bugs'? I was looking at mine yesterday and noticed a few different bugs on them :/

  7. What a nice way to handle your concern. I think it is wonderful that you gave them some of your produce to explain why you don't want that tree growing that large.

    I am so glad they accepted it gracefully too. Maybe it will have the added benefit of creating a good neighbor. Good neighbors are a great blessing.

  8. Daphne, your harvests this week are absolutely picture perfect!

    That's great that your neighbors agreed!

  9. Such picture perfect looking greens.

  10. Glad to hear your neighbors agreed. Lovely spring greens as always! The heat has arrived here in NH as well. Suddenly it's summer and hot and dry.

  11. Sue, yes I'm so happy. I'm sure they will get more treats as the summer wears on. I just have to hope that the neighbors in the three yards that can effect me will not plant anything bad along my edge of their yard. I'm guessing as long as Marie and Paul are living next door I'll be safe from them. Marie like to watch me putting in the yard. Paul doesn't like the mess of plants in general. He has his whole yard paved or bricked over. And they are both extremely nice and I could always work out something with them.

    Diana, The funny thing is that I would have just talked to them over my fence, but the dang fence is a solid 6'. I can't even see them when I'm in the yard, but less talk to them.

    Ribbit, Grilled and salads right now. And boiled spinach. Yum. I really need to do a stir fry though. I've been cutting off the leafy parts to grill (since the leaves would just burn). So I need to use those up.

    GrafixMuse, Yes but I still can't wait for the peas and broccoli. I know they look green, but to me they aren't greens. The radishes and turnips have been great though. They add a lot of crunch to whatever I'm eating.

    Mark Willis, they have a tiny little box. Not enough to grow much. They were really happy to get the greens. I love tatsoi since it is so versatile. I eat it in salads and use it in stirfries. But my favorite way if it is cool is a simple soup dish. Heat chicken broth and add a touch of soy sauce. Put the leaves (usually not the stems) in a bowl and pour the boiling soup over them. They cook perfectly this way. And it is just so so easy and tasty as well. If I have them I might sprinkle a few scallions on top too. But right now it is too hat for soup.

    Allison, no mine were bug free when I picked them in the morning. Some people say to wash your chive blossoms and let them dry before using, but I didn't have any bugs, so didn't bother.

    Crafty Christy, I've been lucky with my neighbors so far in life. And most people are nice I've found. Some I have absolutely nothing in common with, but still we got along. But with this is could have gone either way even with nice people. If someone really wants something, negotiation is impossible. But thank goodness we could both be happy.

    Robin, thanks

    Melissa, thanks

    Emily, Yes we really need a good thunderstorm to come in and drop about an inch of rain. No more, but an inch would be very nice about now. We were supposed to get some storms this morning, but it looks like they are passing us by.

  12. Daphne as always your produce looks just great. We are also starting to get the heat but still lots of rain.

    Glad you neighbors saw things your way.

  13. That's a good amount of harvesting activity for the week! I'm glad it worked out with your neighbors; so many people in today's world just wouldn't have cared about your concern. Of course, you did handle it very tactfully - a basket of goodies plus the offer to buy a new tree :)

  14. Isn't it nice to be able to work things out so easily with a basket of produce? Maybe Granny should do that with her neighbor if she ever sees her. It's so nice to share produce period. The neighbors are having the benefit of my garden this weekend. They're watering and hopefully picking the snow peas and lettuce while I'm here at Emily's.

  15. Cheers to you for being proactive and speaking up! I'm so glad to hear that they were responsive! You're right , you never know what how your neighbors will react! Congrats also on your amazing harvest this week! My jealousy continues...

  16. Daphne, I'm happy for you and your continued garden. What kind of tree are they going to replace with? Good to know you will have new people to give your extras to. Nice harvest this week! I don't know much about asian greens. Yours look great! That's one of the things that I want to learn about in the next few years. I tried pak choi this year, but didn't get much off of it. I got sick right before they were ready to harvest! :( Ah well, there's always next year, right?

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  18. Excellent harvest Daphne! I'll have to try growing that Fun Jen. I've never had it before. What does it taste like?

    That'w so awesome that you wrote them that letter and that they gracious accepted your offer. We have a giant maple in our yard which shades my side garden for most of the morning. As a result, half of my gardening space only gets about 5 hours of direct sunlight...Ok for greens but bad for summer crops. I'd cut down the tree but part of me would feel bad about killing something that is older than I am.

  19. Great news that your neighbors agreed to swapping out for a different tree!
    Your harvest looks so great with all those beautiful greens! Yum!
    I finally had my first harvest this week as well. A bit of greens and parsley for salad and some chives for cheese making and general enjoyment!

  20. I'm so surprised that your neighbors agreed to your request! They must be really nice! Also, since you've spent so much time and labor and cost on setting out your yard, they'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to! How big was that maple sapling? Your greens are really impressive! You arrange them so beautifully in your baskets:)

  21. Wow - if the neighbor doesn't like a mess of plants, they sure like fresh veggie gifts! You are brave to have asked. They are wonderful to have accepted!

    I'm looking forward to trying Asian greens for the first time this fall. I'll be scouring your blog for advice in a few months.

  22. Your neighbor is so niece to accept your offer, whew~~relief!

    Beautiful greens you have there, they are picture perfect.

  23. Good work on the thoughtful approach to the tree problem. You certainly had really big harvests this week! The greens are all so pretty looking too. If they were starting to bolt - one could never tell from those pictures.

  24. You have such beautiful greens! I'm so happy I don't have neighbors...just woods. If a tree gets in the way, we take care of it. The people who own the land next to us don't live in Florida, so they wouldn't know the difference. We're bad, I know.

  25. What a nice green harvest! That is so great your neighbors are being nice! Sometimes they aren't! I am glad that is working out for you!

  26. Daphne - that one picture of the greens could be framed and hung on the wall - very artful. The tree vs. garden issue is not easy, made harder when it's not your tree. When I put in my garden I had to remove a juvenile tulip poplar and a green ash, both of which are semi weed trees. There are other trees that will have to go in 10 years or so as this spot is already shaded in the morning. The garden will win the day.

  27. Our entire property has big trees as well as the neighbors, no way I can avoid shade ... glad you were able to work out a solution for your tree dilemma.

  28. I like the way you asked your neighbours - good idea, and I'll try to remember that if I ever need it. Won't have to worry about trees as long as I'm in the current Nettle Nest, though - not with a big ugly parking lot in front of my balcony garden.

  29. Lovely looking food, and how smart you are to tackle the potential tree problem NOW instead of waiting till it is big. We have the problem with our own trees. My husband likes the shade and privacy. I like those too, but I also want sunshine and views. The trouble with trees is that they keep growing. So one you think you can live with this year is impossible in a few more.

  30. Have you ever had radish tops not cooked or are they a green that always needs to be cooked?

  31. Excellent strategy and execution on the sapling tree-to-be. I'm so glad it worked for you.

    Oh, and what does one do with chive blossoms?

    Our sunscape just improved for the better with a lot of tree work. Our yard and both front yard neighbors. Neighbor tropical flowering plant grower and I split cost of trees on our shared property line. South side neighbor gave me permission to remove a tree that had gone past the sapling stage and would only continue to get bigger and bolder. A few bucks well spent I thought. Hmm, I should send them a summer basket! Great idea Daphne.


  32. What do you plan to do with the chive blossoms? I made chive blossom vinegar last year that was a beautiful pink color.

  33. oops..I just read your previous post about making the vinegar :)

  34. wilderness, thanks

    foodgardenkitchen, it is a lot of produce. Hopefully next week will bring more variety.

    Marcia, hmm it will be interesting what I do with my garden when I'm away. I used to let a neighbor and good friend to it that was about a block away. Now they are pretty far away. I could let my townhouse mates take care of it. And I should. I'll have to emphasize when I ask them to pick something, that I mean they have to pick it and not let it go to seed.

    Bee Girl, thanks I'm amazed myself on how well this soil grows plants. It is better than my last garden.

    Dirt lover, we haven't figured out what kind of tree yet. I think they want one that is tall enough to block their upstairs windows, which would make sense for the spot. So I'll be looking for a 25' tree probably. My husband was suggesting the one tree I added to my last house (a kousa dogwood) but that is too short. He loved that tree. It is just so beautiful when it blooms. And yes there is always next year. Hopefully you will be a good harvest then.

    Thomas, it is a very mild Asian green. It is best for salads and doesn't stand up to cooling well. Though you could probably cook the stems if you wanted, but I use them to add crunch to my salads. It reminds me a little more of Chinese cabbage than of any of the other Asian greens. In my last house I had to cut down one crabapple tree to put in my garden. I picked the spot that would let me cut down the fewest trees. I kept thinking of cutting down the two Norway maples out front. But instead I just fought them in the back yard as they tried to take over my beautiful native oak forest. When I moved in there were things like lady slippers three, but the maples did a good job of killing them off. I was so sad.

    Fred, The greens will start to slow down now that the weather has warmed up. Well the chard is still picking up. But the other harvests ought to slow a bit. But then the peas start. I can't wait for peas.

    Random Gardner, Indeed they must be. One of the things I dislike about my yard is the six foot solid fence all around. It does provide privacy, but keeps me from getting to know my neighbors. You just can't chat over the fence. You'd have to climb it first. The maple sapling wasn't big yet. It might be 13' tall? Its a guess. Last year it was 10'. So it is getting bigger fast. Maples are really fast growers.

    Brie, Except for the million insect pests that eat them, they aren't hard. At my last house I could never grow them without a row cover. They just wouldn't grow with all the pests that attacked them and their roots. But once I started using a cover, they grew very well. I so hate the look of the row cover, but it works, so I keep doing it.

    Mac, yes I was so happy when they said they would do it. I was afraid to open their email almost.

    Laura, Asian greens are nice in one way. If they start to bolt you get a bonus harvest of the flower head. But the flowers were small and right in the middle.

    Katrina, Even when I lived in the CO mountains, we had neighbors. We might have owned acres, but weirdly sometimes there was some friction.

    Shawn Ann, thanks

    Gardenvariety-hoosier, yes it is always a hard issue no matter what. I left a crab apple tree next to my last garden because the neighbor put it in with her friends that used to live there. It was sentimental to her. It was the worst tree. A crabapple tree in the shade is just bad. They are so diseased and sickly. If it had been totally up to me, I would have cut it down and either left it down or do what I did on the other side of the yard. Cut the crab apple down and replace it with something that can handle the shade.

  35. Deb, I just helped a friend plant a tomato in his yard yesterday. I hope it grows for him. He has a yard with little sun too. Market Miracle does amazing things in bad conditions though, so I'm hoping he gets a good harvest.

    Lvynettle, My ideal house would have been on the north side of a street and corner lot. Then I could have just gardened in the front yard and avoided the neighbor shade issues. Or a house on the lake with a big back yard. That would have worked for sun too. I like East Arlington though. I can walk so many places.

    len, You really have to think about what things will be like in many years. And it is hard to do. It really is easier to make it right when you first move into a place. My last house I lived with it for a year then I started all the changes I wanted. This house was subsoil so we got a designer for the landscaping. We had a lot of hard issues to deal with. Parking being the major one.

    Venessa, no I don't eat radish tops uncooked. They are really prickly and wouldn't be very pleasant. It isn't that they aren't edible cooked. Old chard leaves for instance really ought to be cooked as they have so much oxalic acid in them and boiling it gets rid of about half of it. There is no health reason not to eat it raw, but I just couldn't imagine doing it.

    tervy, I make vinegar out of chive blossoms. You can put them in salads and eat them that way too.

    liz, lol yup vinegar.

  36. Daphne -

    Good news on the neighbor's tree. There are huge trees next door that shade large portions of my yard. But since we now live in the southern sauna some shade is a good thing even for veggies.

  37. Congrats on your neighbors agreeing to remove their tree! That is just wonderful. Our neighbor has a magnolia on the side of their house. The tree was planted decades ago when it was tiny and fit in the spot. But they weren't thinking about when it gets bigger how it would grow, or maybe they just didn't care. They stuck it on the side of the house where they literally have about six feet between the house and the property line. So ofcourse now that it is huge the trunk is on their property but most of the branches and foilage hang over our property and shade my garden. The owners rent the house out and so we have cut all the branches off at the property line which has helped but we still get shaded. Needless to say I understand how you were feeling!

  38. Cheryl, yeah we are in the cool north so shade is usually bad. Of course we are having temps in the 80s and 90s so right now a little shade would be nice for the greens. But at least the lettuce is behind the garlic so are getting partial shade until mid July.

    Vanessa, Yeah if they hadn't agreed I would have been cutting off branches when they crossed my property line. Paul (another neighbor) was already doing that on his side of the fence. He really hates these maple trees. He has one and has threatened to cut it down. He hates the mess this time of year. The tree is huge and just carpets the world with seed.

  39. What a harvest!

    only harvest I had today was little bit of water cress (Korean type, not sure how it's called here).

    Quick question,
    what do you do with the chive blossom?
    I saw your post on chive blossom vine agar. Do you do anything else with them? The chives in my community garden is also blooming, not sure what to do with them...

  40. Sunshine, I put the blossoms in salads. They taste well like chives. I don't use them as big blobs though. Break them apart into smaller bits unless you really want a blast of chive flavor.

  41. Great harvest! I've got chive blossoms too - I think I'll try both vinegar and using them in salad. Thanks for the tip!