Saturday, July 1, 2017

Canada Day Harvests

 Happy Canada Day!
I headed out to the gardens to harvest some full heads of lettuce now that the summer heat has finally arrived. I did not want the greens to become bitter as they got larger & larger.

The lettuce will keep very well in the fridge, wrapped in paper towel in an open bag. Looks like another week of salads for lunch & dinner!

Time to get creative....

Harvested some Swiss chard and the last of the spinach as well. The spinach I put in the freezer for our next lasagna bake so the Swiss chard will take the place of wilted spinach with our eggs.

Lovely colours with rainbow chard & they seem to be doing very well in the full sunny corner of the veggie bed.

I'm also harvesting kale too. I usually throw in a few leaves of kale with my salads, but thought that I would take a larger harvest today of kale to put into the freezer for eating later on in the year.

One of our most favourite comfort foods is boerenkool (check out a recipe here). I have a few packages frozen in the freezer from earlier this spring from the over-wintered kale & am thinking I might use those ones for along with spinach in our next lasagna bake. Or maybe in a hearty soup....

Basically, I rip the leaves off the ribs of the plants & then stuff the leaves into a ziplock bag (use a vacuum seal bag if you want it longer than a few months) & squeeze all the air out. I toss it into the freezer & when I want to use the kale, I will either wack it with a rolling pin to break up the leaves or if I want only half the bag, I'll chop-chop what I want off into small frozen pieces. The leaves are tough, so don't expect them to break down easily when you cook them (like spinach would do).

Grabbed a small handful of radish while I was out there & checked on the progress of the peas growing in behind.

The pea trellis idea needs some tweaking as the peas are not really growing up so much as out & then up - totally shading out the red onions, leeks, radish & beets further along.

The cilantro has been cut right back a few times but still keeps on coming back. It might be because it is growing where there is a bit of afternoon shade, so I'm quite happy with that.

I cut completely back a few of the plants & the rest I think I will leave to go to seed to see if they will start to self-seed themselves. If not - I will collect some seeds to sow in either the fall or next spring for fresh plants.

Well - all in all, a great harvest day - putting food away for later in the year, taking a look at where things are at & gathering food to eat right now.

Am a bit behind in some updates, but will get some photos posted this coming week. I've finally been enjoying some lazy times in the garden - actually just sitting there watching the birds & the bees, listening to things grow & wondering how to improve or change or alter things for next year already.

Happy Weekend!

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