Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30/10 Harvest - Salad Fixings

We had a very small harvest this week - just some baby lettuce mix and arugula grown in our indoor grow box, and probably the last few cucumbers from our slowly-but-surely dying cucumber vines.  This lull between summer and fall is turning out to be kind of depressing!  Now I have to wait patiently for my fall crops to start growing.

I harvested the baby greens (and reds) from these two containers.  I thought I took a picture of the harvested lettuce, but apparently I forgot to do it.  It wasn't a lot of lettuce, just enough to make two appetizer-sized salads.

I spaced out and did not remember to take a picture of my harvested cucumbers until after I sliced them all up.  My loud "oh no!" probably made Keith think that I cut my finger with the kitchen knife or something.  With the way that our brown and brittle cucumber vines look right now, these may very well be the last cucumbers of the season.  We'll see if we get any more next week.  Otherwise, adiĆ³s, garden cucumbers.  See you next year.

I made some tzatziki with these cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, salt and plain yogurt.  Various recipes said that greek yogurt works the best, but all I had in the fridge was plain yogurt, so that's what I used.  It still turned out pretty yummy, if a bit too garlicky.  That's what happens when you just wing it without following a recipe!

Oh, I almost forgot.  I also harvested about 16 oz of basil.  1 lb of basil doesn't sound like a lot, but it's really a lot of basil.  They filled up a huge serving bowl.  I took all the leaves off the stems (so tedious) and laid them down to dry, as we have enough frozen pesto cubes for now.  They filled up three large pizza pans and four cookie sheets.

Visit Daphne's Harvest Monday for harvests from other gardeners.


kitsapFG said...

Enjoy the last of your cucumbers. The absence of certain crops for periods of time - certainly makes their return all that much more sweet the following year. That basil looks great. :D

Anonymous said...

I also harvested last of the cucumbers. If I'm very, very lucky I will get one or two more.

That lettuce and arugula look great! I have never tried to grow lettuce indoors.

Erin said...

A lb of any type of greens is a lot! I hope to be seeing some lettuce very soon... I will be able to plant it again this week, only a few more days of heat hopefully!

thyme2garden said...

kitsapFG - thank you! Since I don't can anything yet, having a few cucumbers a week was plenty for Keith and me, and we were starting to almost take it for granted. I'm sure we'll be missing it this winter.

* * * * *
vrtlarica - let's see if our cucumber vines can squeeze out a couple more in the next week or two! I've only grown lettuce in the indoor grow box so far, but I should try leaving the container near the window and see if lettuce gets enough light to grow. Always more garden experiments to be had!

* * * * *
Erin - thank you so much! I harvested this basil and thought it was so much that I must have had multiple pounds (even though the bowl that I harvest in was at least a couple of lbs heavy by itself). Then I weighed and thought, that's it, only ONE POUND? :) But it's still way more basil than we know what to do with on a weekly basis. Hope you get to see some lettuce on you kitchen table, too!

Sense of Home said...

A very nice basil harvest, that would be more than my entire plant!


Cheryl said...

Good for actually did something with you basil. I just plant it near the tomatoes because it's supposed to help them grow, but I don't really eat it. Been threatening to do the basil pesto, but haven't gotten around to it (double good for you since you made some). I did make a small batch of basil pasta dough yesterday. Will cook it today to see if it's any good because I've got a few more basil plants in the yard.

Engineeredgarden said...

Well, the lettuce is just stunningly beautiful.

Martha said...

I'm feeling so out of step here. My cucumbers are just coming in. Long story, but I overplanted the pot I put them in, but now, finally, I'm seeing baby cucumbers.

Next year, I have plans to put them in their own pot, with a sturdy trellis and make lots of Daphne's refrigerator pickles. Yum!

Prairie Cat said...

I can't want for greens of some sort. My spring crop was destroyed by slugs, and the summer has been way too hot to plant any sort of lettuce.

Look at all that basil! I'm jealous. I've been saving mine by laying the leaves out on a cookie sheet in the freezer, and then transferring them to a freezer bag once frozen so they don't stick together. I'm not sure how this is going to work, but hopefully it will yield pseudo fresh basil during the winter.

RandomGardener said...

Your lettuce looks so good! Yummy ....

My cucumber vines are dying too! It's always sad to see them go....

Angela said...

That is a lot of basil, definitely. I wish my basil plants were so productive, they seem to be in strike this year...

Your lettuce looks just perfect. Hopefully the fall crops will grow fast enough and your wait will be short.

villager said...

We're in that transition period too here in So. Indiana. We're missing the cucumbers too! Your greens (and reds) look nice!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Not much left of the cukes here either! And I too have basil coming out my pours! What was I thinking?

Dan said...

The tzatziki sounds good!

Daphne said...

I always hate the September lull, but this year who knows. We are going to have 90Fs at the beginning of September so maybe I'll have summer vegetables for a while longer.

meemsnyc said...

Tzatziki sauce, ooh yummy. What did you use that on? BTW, you won my 100th Post giveaway contest! Send me your mailing info for the prize. Congrats!

thyme2garden said...

Brenda - my basil plants were planted entirely too close this year, because I just didn't know how big and bush they could get. Next year, I'll try to plant fewer plants farther apart, and see if I end up with the same kind of production. Well, actually, we could probably do fine with half as much basil.

* * * * *
Cheryl - I also read somewhere that tomatoes and basil grown near each other is good for both their flavors. So I did transplant a few basil seedling next to the tomatoes, but they got really crowded out. Maybe I planted them too close. I ended up tossing those basil plants when I pulled the dying tomato plants last weekend, not because they weren't edible but I was getting overwhelmed with basil and didn't feel like processing them that day.

Basil pasta dough sounds tasty, hope it turned out well for you! And if you like the taste of basil pesto, I would highly recommend it. It's slowly becoming a staple sauce in our kitchen!

* * * * *
Engineeredgarden - thank you so much! I just love the look of any kind of red lettuce or "greens" like red chard and kale. I'm trying to grow some for this fall.

* * * * *
Martha - I hope your cucumber vines produces lots of cucumbers for you! It's still plenty warm outside, so I'm sure you have many weeks of cucumber joy in your future.

* * * * *
Prairie Cat - eek, slugs! I don't think I had any of that in my garden this year (knock on wood) but I had plenty of other buggy pests that drove me nuts and caused all kinds of damage to my greens. One nice thing about growing lettuce in the indoor grow box is that I don't have to worry about bugs or bunnies getting to them!

I haven't tried freezing whole basil leaves. Your cookie sheet method sounds like it would work for keeping the leaves separated, but I wonder how well it would work to keep them "fresh." Let me know how it works for you! If you have any sunny space to keep potted basil indoors over winter, that may be another way to get fresh basil during the winter, too.

thyme2garden said...

RandomGardener - thank you! It really is sad to see something dying after putting so much effort growing it all summer long, especially for something "big" like tall cucumber vines. But I'm trying to make myself feel better by telling myself that they are making room for new fall crops. :-)

* * * * *
Angela - I'm guessing that all the cool weather you guys had out west wasn't good for sun-loving plants like basil? They really do seem to enjoy the heat, as long as they don't get sun-scorched, which my plants did one week earlier this summer. I'm also hoping that fall crops will grow fast. Come back tomorrow to see pictures of my fall crop seedlings!

* * * * *
Villager - thank you! I guess it's transition time for many gardeners all across the country. I'll miss the summer crops, but I'm also really excited for my fall crops!

* * * * *
The Apple Pie Gal - I feel the same way about our basil plants! Planting all the seeds from one envelope is definitely NOT the way to go.

* * * * *
Dan - thanks! It was pretty tasty.

* * * * *
Daphne - I hope your summer vegetable plants hang in for a while longer!

* * * * *
meemsnyc - I think it's traditionally used in gyros, or as dip for pita bread, but we just ate it as a side with our dinner. It was kind of a random dinner with roasted pork loin slices, brown rice, spaghetti squash, and this tzatiki that I called "salad."

abigail said...

my cucumbers went kaput too. I read somewhere that it's good to replant them in the beginning of July so when the first planting dies, the second planting kicks in.
I'll probably try it next year, even though I'm kind of relieved cucumber season is over.

michelle said...

Wow, that's a lot of basil. I've got a bunch of cucumbers coming in now, but I planted them late. The plants look like they are slowing down now though. The tzatzike sounds good, I'll have to try some while the cukes last.

thyme2garden said...

abigail - cucumbers do seem to grow fast enough that a second planting would probably be a good idea. I ran out of trellis space, so I couldn't do it this year, but maybe next year.

* * * * *
michelle - enjoy your cucumbers! You guys had such a cool summer this year, I hope a warm September is in store for you.

Stevie from said...

haha - I always forget to take photos of the veg until I've cut it up or eaten it! Great looking salad though.

thyme2garden said...

Stevie - I used to be really good about taking pictures of my garden harvests when I first started harvesting two months ago. But now I'm getting a bit lax. Is the novelty of my own garden harvests slowly wearing thin? Nahhh, that can't be right. I'm still amazed that I can grow anything at all that's actually edible.


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