Friday, June 1, 2012

May Harvest Update

As we were scurrying about this morning getting ready to leave for our day jobs (not farming), Greg glanced out the back window and was greeted with this view. Our garden always seems bucolic and peaceful, but on this crisp morning it just looked so nice we had to stop out and visit for a few minutes.

Most of the plants - those that haven't been attacked too badly by our neighborhood rabbits - looked very good. Our broccoli is starting to form heads, which is a really encouraging sign. Two years running we've lost our entire broccoli crop either to bolting or to animals, so we're excited about any possible harvest. We haven't gotten any yet, but we're hopeful.

The one area where we have been harvesting quite a bit is our greens and radish box. This box was planted with 1/3 spinach, 1/3 radishes, and 1/3 various lettuces. By now all the radishes have been pulled, but the others are still going strong. From the start of the season up to the end of May, we've harvested:

 - 70 radishes, each about 0.6 ounces, for a total of 2 lb 10 ounces
 - As many radish greens as we cared to eat; the rest went to compost
 - 5 ounces of garlic scapes, the flavorful shoots that appear in the spring
 - 1 lb, 10 ounces of baby leaf spinach
 - No significant lettuce or mache

Now, you can see there is plentiful lettuce growing here, but we've chosen so far not to harvest it. Based on a few nibbles here and there, we've discovered that our leaf lettuces are incredibly bitter! Some quick internet research seems to indicate that it's either soil nutrient deficiencies or inconsistent watering, but we're just not sure yet. Any experience our readers have in growing lettuce that isn't spit-it-out bitter would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and our chickens haven't produced a thing for us yet, but they are still really cute and fun to play with. They love to eat the plentiful clover that grows in our yard, and they trust us now enough to eat it right out of our hands.

All told it's not a ton of food just yet, but we can see that a lot of plants are getting close to harvest stage. The broccoli we mentioned, as well as kale and snap peas, should be ripe within a week or two. Plus we've been eating spinach and radishes in almost every home-cooked meal this month, from salads and sandwiches to spinach pizzas and oven-roasted radishes. They taste great, we know they've been naturally grown, and we eat them fresh-picked straight from the earth.

How's your garden looking so far this year? Hopefully it's been a bountiful harvest all around and it continues into the rest of the gardening season.

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