Monday, June 26, 2017

Harvest Monday - 26 June 2017

Greetings from Eight Gate Farm, and welcome to another Harvest Monday update!

Starting as usual with "first" harvests of the year, we have turnips:

This variety is called "White Egg." It seems to grow very well for us, and not only produces tasty roots but also an abundance of delicious greens, as you can see. I also planted "Purple Top White Globe," and after two years of trying I don't feel like planting it again. It grows much slower and weaker than White Egg, so why bother?

Next up are snap peas:

I tried "Super Sugar Snap" for the first time this year, and so far I like it better than conventional Sugar Snap. It produces earlier, with equally tasty pods, and is not supposed to get as tall as Sugar Snap. I've had problems with Sugar Snap vines overtopping the 6-foot trellis, and without support, they tend to bend and break. Also, Sugar Snap has always had a consistency problem; a large proportion aren't true to type. So let's see if Super Sugar Snap makes the cut.

For continuing harvests, strawberries are blessing us with an abundance.

We are literally giving them away now, freezing many pounds, and eating them with practically every meal. Case in point, yesterday's breakfast of French Toast with our own maple syrup:

I'll tell you, after a breakfast like this you don't feel like rushing out and working in the garden!

Salad greens are still going strong:

We took the last Ching Chiang, and some more garlic scapes.

Those ingredients and more, including our own mint and basil, went into Vietnamese Spring Rolls by The Kitchen Goddess:

Finally, a weird-perspective picture of a particularly notable berry:

Big strawberry, small cat.
Thanks for reading, and please check out all the posts on Harvest Monday, hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Harvest Monday - 19 June 2017

Greetings fellow gardeners! We had several "first" harvests this week, and a number of continuing ones.

The "first" first needs no introduction:

There are two varieties, the everbearing "Oglalla" on the left, and the June-bearing "Surecrop" on the right. Wait, didn't I say it needed no introduction?

The thing about strawberries is once they start rolling in, they just keep rolling in:

The Kitchen Goddess has already canned 8 jars of strawberry jam:

The other first harvest was some garlic scapes:

I planted six each of four varieties of garlic last fall. One variety ("Katahdin") is 2-3 times bigger than its mates, and produced these scapes well ahead of the others. I don't know if it's the variety, or maybe just the cloves were bigger to begin with. I don't remember.

For continuing harvests, we took all but one of the remaining Ching Chiang and tatsoi, as they were severely bolting. A couple qualify as runts, but it's all good.

Also bolting was the cilantro, so out it came.

TKG froze most of this in small covered containers with olive oil. She says that's better than water for keeping them. I had not heard of that before. I've said in the past that cilantro is one of those things I can't grow myself; they always bolt when two inches tall. These came from a six-pack of crowded-together seedlings purchased at a local farm/greenhouse, and I planted them all together in a jumbled mess. But that seemed to work, and I will try that method of starting them next year.

Next up is more salad mix. I like the method we are using: two 4-foot rows with the seeds tightly sown. You just pick off the leaves you need, and the remaining expand to fill in the gaps, then repeat. We used two variety-packs from Baker Creek: "Mesclun Mix," of which about the only thing I can identify is kale but there are many other components, and a more traditional lettuce mix called "Rocky Top." This method just seems more productive than growing heads, and it sure is easy too.

That's all the representative harvests for this week. One more picture to share though. In the Kitchen Herb Garden the sage decided to send up a flower. I know this is not unusual, but I've never had it happen before. It is lovely.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Dave at Our Happy Acres for keeping Harvest Monday going.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Harvest Monday - 12 June 2017

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. We're in the middle of a three day heat wave, or at least what passes for one in these parts, with temps in the 90s. It's strange to think that just a week ago we had a day that didn't even reach 50, and we had to light the wood stove to take the chill out of the house.

Starting off with "first" harvests, we have a nice head of Ching Chiang.

Next, some turnip greens (sorry, blurry).

And some cilantro, starting to bolt (again blurry, what's up with that?).

The Kitchen Goddess picked chive flowers and tarragon to make a flavored vinegar.

For continuing harvests we have mesculin and radishes, great to eat with the aforementioned vinegar.

And another large head of tatsoi.

That whole thing went into a batch of soup that night, with tofu. Here it is on the stove prior to adding udon noodles. It was delicious!

And lastly yet another head of tatsoi, and more radishes.

I had reported that I planted all corn, both dry and sweet, as well as beans, both snap and shell, on May 28. I was worried about the weather getting colder, and it did. So the results have been very interesting to me.

Here is the dry corn bed (Floriani Red Flint) yesterday. You can see in the six rows on the left that germination was very good, to the point where it will have to be thinned.

But what about the sweet corn? Well, very poor germination, forcing a replant. The Sugar Buns and Silver Queen were only about 40% germinated, and surprisingly the Honey Select was better, maybe 75%. For some reason I thought the Honey Select would be the fussiest about temperature. I hope there's enough time in the season to get a good crop.

Looking at the same photograph, the rows to the right of the corn have, well, nothing. This was supposed to be 5 rows of dry beans (Kenearly Yellow Eye and Midnight Black Turtle). These also had to be replanted. Oddly, however, there was very good germination of the bush snap beans (wax and filet).

So, I'm learning. Supersweet corn really does hate temperatures below 55-60, so if there's any chance of that occurring, better off to wait. Or maybe I'll try treated seeds next year.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks once again to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Harvest Monday - 5 June 2017

Welcome to another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm. Starting off with a first-of-the-year harvest, a nice head of tatsoi:

The Kitchen Goddess made a light teriyaki marinade for some beef tri-tips for the grill, and stir-fried the fresh tatsoi. Here is the result--it was yummy! You could have your choice of wines organic Petit Verdot from Yorkville Cellars, or a Grenache Rose from Trattore Farms--two of our favorite California wineries.

Other harvests this week were mesculin and radishes:

And then there was radishes and mesculin!

And now for an update on the latest project, the stock-tank planting beds. I finally transplanted all the eggplant and pepper seedlings, and they are looking good!

Now you see 'em, now you don't. We are forecasted to have several nights this week dropping down to the 40s--not good for these plants. TKG did a super job of tucking them in with Agribon.

Hopefully this will give them some protection from the cold. In June!!

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday.