Monday, April 11, 2011

4/10 Harvest - Overwintered CA Veggies

This week's harvest is from the California garden.  I suppose you could call all these vegetables "over-wintered," although coastal southern California winter is nothing like winter in Indiana (or anywhere with snowy winters).

Red Russian Kale
Red Russian Kale has been growing really well.  It has been a true cut-and-come-again workhorse in the garden, very unlike bok choy and tatsoi that only yielded one harvest before going kaput.  I noticed that this kale grew more green in California compared to in Indiana where it grew a bit more red/purple, even though the seeds all came from the same place.  I think it has to do with the temperature.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that freezing temperatures make the red/purple color more pronounced in Red Russian Kale.

Fall-planted cilantro grew throughout the winter, but it has finally bolted.  The bolting doesn't seem to have changed the flavor of the cilantro, so some of the lower leaves were harvested.

Bolted Cilantro
Flowering stalks from bolting cilantro seem to grow at lightning speed.  These bolting cilantro "trees" are at least 4-5 feet tall.

Bolted Cilantro going to Vegetable Heaven
If we needed more cilantro, more of these leaves could have been harvested.  But one can only use so much cilantro in a week or two, you know?

Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard
After a slow start, swiss chard has been growing fairly well all winter/spring.  The problem with chard is that pests (birds/bugs, I think) love them and seem determined to turn them into swiss cheese chard, although this picture shows off mainly non-holey leaves.

Sugar Snap Peas
Here's the last harvest of the sugar snap peas planted last fall.  The vines were very productive all winter and spring, but they have finally reached their limit.

Sugar Snap Peas for planting
These dried pea pods were discovered as the spent sugar snap pea vines were pulled from the garden.  Although I didn't mean to save any seeds, I guess these peas just saved themselves by hiding in the middle of the thick vines.  I just learned from the internet that all peas are open-pollinated, so these peas will be saved to be planted in the garden this fall. 

Short 'n Sweet Carrots
See the carrot on the left side of this picture?

Here's the front side view of the carrot.  Doesn't look so bad, right?

The back side is a whole another story.  This carrot grew right next to one of the paver stones, and I think it must have grown around/under it, hence the 90 degree angled indentation in the middle, and a few extra lumps.

Happy Harvest Monday!


Engineeredgarden said...

Dang....very nice harvest!

Barbie said...

Beautiful. Send the cilantro my way. I think I'm going to experiment a few ways to save it this year. I'm thinking a puree like pesto would work well and be super easy to use. Hoping it will even freeze. LOVE cilantro around here!

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

I loved the White Russian kale variety that I grew last year. I'm in the Pacific Northwest and it survived all of our freezes without any protection, while the other varieties froze out.

RandomGardener said...

You already have a bountiful harvest! Love cilantro! Can't have too cilantro! Mine doesn't grow that well at all. How do you do it? Where'd the seeds come from? I'm wondering if it might be a different variety.

michelle said...

Funny looking carrot but I'm sure it tastes great. My kale has all bolted and been fed to the chickens. Now I'm waiting for the sugar snaps to start producing. And most of the cilantro is reaching for the sky, but I like to let most of it bloom to attract the beneficial insects and then I like to let it self sow around the garden.

Jody said...

So much great stuff. Your peas are an inspiration. After a long freeze,ours just began to poke out of the ground. We planted them almost 4 weeks ago.

gardenvariety-hoosier said...

I never thought of fall-planted peas but will have to try it. It's like having them do an encore. Welcome to Hoosierland. I used to live in Indy, worked at Lillies (as the locals call it) and moved to the Bloomington area after retirement. It's great to find gardeners in the region that have similar growing conditions.

Julie said...

Swiss cheese chard, lol.

I have a lot of that in my own garden ; ))

Robin said...

What a difference gardening in CA and in Indiana! Those are some fat and stubby carrots!

How nice that the peas saved themself for you to plant later this year!

Daphne said...

I so love cilantro. I always let it set seed though. Coriander and food for the beneficial (the wasps especially love this flower). I would never get all the seed though as it self seeded all over the garden. Now at a new garden I have to plant it. I'm trying a slow bolter this time.

Beautiful harvest. I wish I could get my peas to dry on the vine. They always seem to rot first, but I try every year.

kitsapFG said...

Lots of yummy things to harvest in the California garden! The kale looks very nice and the carrot - despite it's split - looks like it is fat and sweet.


That is certainly too much cilantro for one family to have. You'd have too own a taco joint or two to use all that up quickkly.

Mac said...

Nice harvest, echo Barbie's idea of cilantro pesto. Thai people makes a cilantro pesto using the roots and some stems blends with white pepper corns, garlic etc to make a very tasty sauce for pork and chicken dishes.
I lost most of my sugar snap peas to the birds (3 plants left), and they are into my Swiss chard now, I have Swiss cheese chard as well.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Nice harvest. Cilantro seeds can be used as herbs for curry, korma or soups dishes. The bees go crazy when cilantro flowers bloom.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Red Russian overwinters well even here though now I grow Red Ursa. Yes, the cold definitely brings out the colouring. I wish I could overwinter cilantro. It seems like only a short time in spring and in fall when the temperature is just right for it.

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