The night time lows dropped to high 30s this weekend. In California, this would be considered winter. In Indiana, as in the most of the rest of the country, I guess this is fall.
I harvested my first small batch of fall vegetables, consisting of some baby Red Russian Kale and a sampling of baby asian greens including bok choy, china choi (seeds shared by Ottawa Gardener), and tatsoi. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping these plants alive due to serious damage by cabbage worms, aphids, and possibly slugs (the only one I haven't visually confirmed yet). You can see a little bit of the damage to the surviving leaves in the picture above, but this is nothing compared to the damage to the non-surviving plants.
Since I didn't have any prior experience handling these hardy greens, either as a gardener or a consumer (except when they are included in a prepared dish), I wasn't sure how big I should let them grow. I harvested these leaves fairly small because I was curious about their flavor and also because I don't trust the pests to allow them to grow to a decent size. I've already lost almost half of my crops to the stinky pests that munch on them leaf by leaf, leading to total destruction. I did finally sprinkle some Sluggo out there today, so if there are any invisible slugs out there, hopefully Sluggo can start controlling the problem.
By the way, these greens were delicious as a quick stir-fry. Between Keith and me, there was barely enough to have three or four bites each. These cook down a lot, just like spinach. Inspired by our first tasting of these tasty hardy greens, Keith and I sowed more seeds in our indoor grow box today. We're hoping to grow this new batch to maturity entirely in the grow box to avoid the pest problems in the garden. I'm not sure how much room the full-sized versions of these vegetables will require, so this will be yet another grow box experiment for us. Next year, I'll grow them all under row covers outside.
I also harvested the first three sugar snap peas from my remaining three plants that survived the cutworm attack. They were still too small and did not taste very sweet.
The outdoor Jelly Bean tomato plants are still pumping out tomatoes, although they are very slow to ripen. I picked a handful that had any hint of blush, so that they can finish up the ripening process indoors. Only one Jelly Bean tomato has ripened in the indoor grow box so far. But since we don't have to worry about the impending first frost in the grow box, I'll just let them take their time to ripen on the vine.
This post is part of Daphne's Harvest Monday.