Monday, July 11, 2011

Beginning of cool season veggies...hopefully

We started to harvest cool season vegetables this week. A lot of first harvest for this year! Harvested our first Italian sprouting broccoli for this year.  We just steamed the broccoli and season it with salt and pepper, even the big stem under the broccoli curd was sweet and tender. First baby lettuce of 2011 which is not pretty because we had to share it with slugs but was welcome since we have not eaten any since last year. Our first home-grown purple vienna kohlrabi, never tasted one but I have not eaten it yet to comment about it. We harvested our first home-grown beetroot which is medium size and not baby beet size anymore. Steamed the beetroot and I was so surprise by how sweet it was. My first thought was it taste almost as sweet as sweet corn. We also harvested some chillies and capsicums.
We finally harvested some Ilhan first-grown sweet corns. It takes a long time for Ilhan sweet corn to mature in winter compare to summer weather. But it was worth the wait.  I was thinning some Afghanistan carrot variety that we are trying for the first time to give more space for some to grow. I was surprise that some of the roots has already grown long and fat. I did not expect that it can grow that big since the soil is hard to break still and in this cold weather. One carrot was almost as big as the sweet corn size. Some roots were deformed but I don't mind as long as it is fresh and organically home-grown. We are lucky that some of the carrots were determined enough to grow bigger in our hard clay soil. Afghanistan carrots are a colourful mix of root.
I ate them fresh straight away like that after washing them. So sweet and crunchy. This is how the burgundy colour carrot root look inside.
I was clearing out one container that were growing okra burgundy plants for garlic planting. In that container I found a self-sowed leek, one leaf amaranth plant and 2 parsnips which the seeds that I did not sowed. I must have been careless and drop some parsnip seeds into this container. I never expected to get any roots when I pull out those parsnip tops. A nice surprise that in 3 months growing in this container, it has actually develop a root size that I can use to cook. So this make it official as our first home-grown parsnip harvest. Gardening is mysterious, the ones that you did not plan to grow on purpose always work much better than the ones you anticipated.
We also harvested some pink radish, yellow cherry tomatoes, snow peas and peas. Cut some rainbow chard stems and all were give-away to friends.
It took a bit longer to harvest last week. Not because I have that many harvest. But Tom the cat constantly wants my attention. He gets annoyed if I ignored him, he will walk over all my seedlings unless I stop and play with him. To my surprise when I turn to fill in my basket with veggies, Tom were in it and sitting on our chillies and tomato harvest. Not my cat but my neighbour's. It is a bit tricky with one hand patting and stroking the cat and the other hand weeds until Tom is satisfied and don't walk on the veggie patch. Tom is a very clever cat and keep rodents away from our garden since he visits frequently now. He only ask a little bit of love from us.


Sunray Gardens said...

Your veggies look great and your cat is adorable!
Cher Sunray Gardens

Unknown said...

What a wonderful harvest again - your corn looks beautiful!

Love the kitty cat!

Mark Willis said...

The colours of those veggies are superb. They say that eating veg in a range of different colours is good for your health, so you ought to be pretty healthy!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

The other day cut only two leaves of pak choy for fried beehoon!!.. Kakdah smile at your basketful harvest.

Barbie~ said...

He looks happy in the basket. WOW! Those carrots are humungous. I cant' wait to see the larger ones.

Sue Garrett said...

What beautiful array of colours - love the burgundy carrots.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

Wow, those are big carrots! And a pretty color. You always have such beautiful veggies!

rainfield61 said...

What a good harvest.

I managed to have a small size bitter gourd.

Malar said...

Good wonter harvest! Hope you will have more harvest this winter!
The cat is cute!

The Sage Butterfly said...

Tom is so cute! He deserves a lot of love for keeping your garden rodent free. Good winter harvest!

kitsapFG said...

Your "Tom" harvest looks to be quite bountiful! LOL!

Those bi-color carrots are really beautiful. I had to laugh about the volunteer plants in the container. My experience too is that volunteers and unplanned for items flourish - while pampered items fail to thrive quite often.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Hey Tom! I wanna play with you. Aaahhh...imagine myself playing chase with Tom in your garden.... Did Tom contribute some organic fertiliser too?
OOohh...Mama's eyes went agog looking at your purple carrots. We used to get purple/blue potatoes from Blue Mountains. Makes nice crisps. yummm.... har har har *evil laughs*

psst...word verification says: cattio

Wendy said...

what a beautiful and colorful harvest - those carrots look so cool - bet your little boy is happy about those!

Katie M said...

So colourful, they have to be good for you!

Veggie PAK said...

Beautiful harvests! Even the appearance of the nice vegetables makes you feel good just looking at them. Tom is funny, but would be welcomed for being a mouser!

Thomas said...

Great harvest! It looks like you got a really nice head of broccoli. I tried growing purple carrots last year but they didn't do much of anything.

Daphne Gould said...

Oh that cat is really funny. You can't have your veggies until he has had his massage. And I love the colorful carrots. I keep trying to find a colored carrot that I love.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cher~My kids love the cat so much. So now he is almost adopted.

Allison~ Thanks, although the corns kernels are not full, still very sweet and fresh.

Mark~I harvest many varieties but I still don't eat proper on weekdays with trying to get everything done in school. But at least the children have the luxury healthy meals with these vegetables everyday. For that I am very thankful.

Bangchik and Kakdah~Any portion from home-grown is the best. Your rooftop gardening is doing very well. It seems you will have enough chili for the kitchen use everyday.

Barbie~I like the carrot so much, I don't have the heart to pull them our from the soil :).

Sue~Love the taste too. Just cook them in soup today and my cousin said among all the carrot varieties we ever planted. This is the best. They taste different from the ordinary orange one.

Villager~You have beautiful berry harvest!

Rainfield61~ Bitter gourd is very good for health. Is that peria katak?

Malar~I certainly hope so. I hope I have some extra to share with friends.

The Sage Butterfly~The security captain in the garden for getting rid of big pest.

KitsapFG~That is true, maybe we have to stop pampering the plants. I like volunteer plants that when they pop out you know that the similar varieties sowing time can be started as well.

Cat-from-Sydney~I think I smell something that Tom left in some of the spot in the garden0.

Wendy~My boy did not believe at first that it is a carrot because they always see orange carrot picture. They thought it is a new vegetable specimen. Convinced them I did.

Hearts_in_asia~They were very good in soup.

Veggie Pak~He is an entertainer. He always some out of nowhere and surprise us.

Thomas~I was worried that I sowed the broccoli too early and they will bolt.

Daphne~We like this Afghanistan carrot very much. So I am leaving a few to let them bolt and collect seeds. This will be our first time collecting carrot seeds. Hopefully we have success.