Monday Harvest – 2nd July 2012

Hooray for the winter solstice and the beginning of the, ever so slow, return to longer days.  Perhaps now my plants might start growing again.  Even my ever reliable silver beet has had something of a go slow, but I did still manage three harvests from it this week.  this is one of them:

The arrival of July has got me thinking about planting tomatoes and the sudden realisation that starting to think about preparing a bed for them might be prudent.  The designated tomato bed had some beetroot in it which had pretty much stopped growing due to constant shade.  I pulled them and some parsley in order to give at least part of the bed a few months rest before Spring planting.

Some of the beetroot became a salad with horseradish dressing which I served alongside some steak and chips.  The parsley I’ve used in everything from salads to more braised lentils.  This cavolo nero also went into the lentil dish along with the celery:

At the moment parsley is my most prolific grower, I have plants scattered throughout the garden and as a result I eat a lot of it.  Here’s another harvest from this week with one of the last tamarillos and a lime.

Not to forget the broccoli which is coming along after getting off to a slow start.  I’m growing a new variety which has very small heads but loads of side shoots and it is these that I’m now harvesting – not as often as I’d like admittedly, but only about half my plants are currently producing so I think I will start getting enough soon.  In the meantime we’ll just have to eat a lot of parsley pesto  and be grateful that at least something is enjoying winter.

For more harvests including many from much warmer climes head over to Daphne’s Dandelions for some serious harvest action.

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47 Responses to Monday Harvest – 2nd July 2012

  1. Louise says:

    Nice harvest, your silver beet is such a pretty colour. I am glad your parsley is thriving, mine is on a go slow. I have enough to pick but it is quite sparse. Rocket is the one that I have mountains of.

    I started to prep a tomato bed yesterday. I often get it started by stripping all the leaves off the brassicas that are finished and spreading them over the soil, adding any spent snow pea straw, adding compost or manure and then topping with grass clipping and letting it stew for a good while. Oh, top be a worm.

    • Liz says:

      Loving the tomato bed tips, I wish my brassicas were cropping let alone finishing…oh well shouldn’t be too much longer I guess.

      • Yvonne says:

        Re: indoor sowing, have you thought abt chitting/sprouting the seeds prior sowing? I experiment the capsicum seeds 2 weeks ago from the fresh Red Capsicum + Thai Basil seeds and surprisingly they are sprouting very quick. Being impatient I sow some of the Capsicum in the cell pack few weeks ago and let them in the cold frame hot house, they don’t seeem to do much, possible due to the temperate there not hot enough to make them germinate.

        I am now doing a whole lot to eggplant, tomato, columbine (one tripped off the shell after 5 days), coriander. Once they are geminated I will sow them into the soil block. Fingers crossed, I will let you know how it goes

        • Liz says:

          I have been sowing into seed trays which I keep in the laundry (probably one of the warmest rooms in my house) and then move to sunnier spots as they germinate. So far I’ve had a few tomatoes germinate but no capsicums yet. I do find them slower. I do occasionally pre-germinate the seeds on kitchen towel to test germination rates but rarely to plant out. No reason not to, its just that I find the seed trays usually work fine. I plan to sow all my tomatoes, eggplants and capsicum family seeds this weekend and then cross my fingers that the weather warms a little – its fine while they’re in the laundry but the light there is awful and the space very limited so they have to go outside fairly soon after germination. I think it probably is still too cold to germinate capsicums in a cold frame especially given the days have been pretty grey.

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Parsley never does well in my garden. I wish I had as much of it as you have. Mine always gets attacked by aphids and root flies of some sort – I think they are like the Carrot Root Fly (I suppose parsley is probably related to carrot, isn’t it?). They used to say that Parsley only grows well in a household where the woman “wears the trousers”, so I suppose I’m in the clear!

    • Liz says:

      That just doesn’t seem right as you come from the land of Scarborough after all you should be able to grow the stuff (ditto sage, rosemary & thyme). I do wear skirts quite often but it hasn’t seemed to notice…he he he…

  3. Daphne says:

    Beautiful harvests. This year my parsley is s total bust. The variety had problems last year, but still produced. This year it just isn’t doing anything.

    • Liz says:

      I always grow the same variety, and some it grows itself so I’d never considered the suitability of different varieties. I should investigate I wonder if there are taste variations.

  4. Jo says:

    My parsley is just another thing which is being devoured by slugs. They leave a yucky trail all over the leaves where they’ve been munching.

    • Liz says:

      I pretend not to notice that many of my leafs have similar trails…Fortuantely it rained today that should have washed off much of the goo.

  5. Liz, I, too, have had trouble with my parsley. I have a teeny little plant, but there is not enough to harvest even one leaf from it, even though it was planted in March.

    I do harvest LOTS of oregano and use it as my pesto base, so I guess it works out.

    Beautiful harvest. I love all of your pictures.

    • Liz says:

      It can be slow to get going, I usually so a few seeds together in a block and plant them out as a block and it works well. They at least give the illusion of developing more quickly.

  6. As Mark says, I read recently that strong parsley grows where there are strong women, so I’m very happy to say that mine is doing well – except for the bits that my strong female chickens ate!!

    • Liz says:

      I do like this strong woman connection- perhaps a range of t-shirts with parsley related slogans would be a fun business opportunity.

  7. Norma Chang says:

    I too am having problem with parsley this year, was gorgeous last year.
    Your chard has a pretty yellow colour. My chards are (were) doing well, not sure if they will be affected by the heat wave and dry condition we are currently experiencing.

    • Liz says:

      I have to say I find chard the most amazingly resilient plant – it seems equally happy here in winter as in summer when it gets over 100 on the odd occasion.

  8. Nina says:

    My parsley is still producing well – it might be time for another batch of parsley soup! Carrots and parsnips are clogging the bed I intend to use for tomatoes so it won’t have much of a rest but I’ll throw on lots of stuff, including the chook manure mixed with straw from the coop.

    By the way, I’ve been making a few batches of veggie stock lately and I have to thank you for the idea of adding lemon zest. It gives it that extra something! Mushrooms are a great addition, too.

    • Liz says:

      Do you know the last few times I’ve made it I’ve forgotten the lemon zest so thankyou for the prompt. I wish I’d planted some parsnips (or actually I wish my father had planted more) they really expensive to buy and I do love them in soups and with roasts.

      • Nina says:

        They are expensive, aren’t they! I suppose that is because they are slow growers and occupy the ground for quite a while. I’m a bit addicted to roasting them with a dash of maple syrup so that they caramelise, well. A veggie soup without them just wouldn’t taste the same. I need to look into how to use them up, in something ‘freezable’ as I have got quite a few more to get through.

        • Liz says:

          I must get myself some maple syrup – yum! A pureed soup would freeze well, or alternatively cook and puree them and add them to soups in that form perhaps?

  9. Bee Girl says:

    For it being winter solstice, your garden sure is producing wonderfully! So much color for the middle of winter…I love it!

  10. maryhysong says:

    mmm parsley pesto, hadn’t thought of that one, tho I don’t usually grow parsley. Just not that fond of it, at least not the commercial stuff I’ve tasted. Nice looking harvests, love the yellow chard.

    • Liz says:

      What? you don’t like parsley? how interesting how varied people’s palates are. It is my absolute favourite herb and I am a huge fan of herbs.

  11. Dave's SFG says:

    So, I’ll join the chorus of complaints about parsley this year, mine is terrible. At least I can admire yours. Is the chard in the picture Orange Fantasia? I think you gave me the idea to try that this year and it is doing well.

    • Liz says:

      The chard came from a mix called “5 colour mix” so unfortunately I’m not sure what the individual varieties are but I am enjoying them regardless. I often find my parsley doesn’t come good until Autumn so perhaps it just needs a bit longer in the ground.

  12. kitsapFG says:

    I actually do not have any parsley growing in the garden this year. Skipped it, but seeing all your yummy pics of parsley makes me wish I had not done that. Happy Winter Solstice to you! It’s all up hill for you from here on out. Sadly we are celebrating Summer Solstice and are now on the down hill slide.

  13. Dave says:

    Ooh, love parsley pesto. Ours isn’t quite far enough along yet. I do think parsley is one of the more useful and underrated herbs. It goes with so many dishes. Like our roasted potatoes I’m fixing tonight. A handful of chopped parsley will give them color and flavor.

    • Liz says:

      Absolutely agree – I think parsley is the most wonderful addition to a huge range of dishes – i really love the stuff.

  14. Diana says:

    Beautiful mid-winter harvest. I did not sow any herb seeds this cool season but we were lucky enough many volunteers came out from leaving them seeds last spring. Great idea with the parsley pesto.

    • Liz says:

      Parsley is helpful like that I have to say, as is chervil I have heaps of it in the garden at the moment – I really should do something with it.

  15. Julie says:

    Your harvests look lovely! I haven’t made parsley pesto in a long time. I’ve been neglecting my parsley this year and it seems to be doing fine. Maybe neglect should be my new strategy!

    • Liz says:

      Parsley does seem to respond well to it I find. Actually I can’t remember a failed parsley plant in my garden which is nice and frankly I give them very little care.

  16. Michelle says:

    One might guess from your lovely photos that you are harvesting a bounty of vegetables! It all looks great. And you’ve reminded me that I need to sow some parsley…

    • Liz says:

      I’m buying the occasional cauliflower, celeraic and fennel bulb buts thats about it so we are growing a good 60-70% of what we eat which is nice (oh provided you ignore the bottles of tomato passata I keep begging from my mum…)

  17. bumblelush says:

    Nice that your garden is still producing. A volunteer parsley plant popped up near my onions. I left it alone and it has grown to be quite big! I love surprises like that. Had steak and chips (though they were just grilled potatoes) last night. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Mine were oven baked chips so not quite chips either really…. I love a volunteer parsley, in fact I love all parsley especially the big plants – lots of leaves to eat.

  18. Rick says:

    What a great winter harvest! And without all the cold frames and other protection that I have to give my plants in the winter!

  19. Andrea says:

    Yes hooray for the longer days…….. Nice little harvest Liz, parsleys a big winner! I enjoy just picking a bunch and placing it in a jug on my window sill.
    I also have a small jug of mint which has quickly grow roots and is ready if a need a leaf or two.
    Iv’e started to get a new bed ready for my tomatoes later on in the year, A long bed in front of a wire fence and about 80 cms wide , I have been adding leaf mulch, grass clippings, chook and horse manure and turning it over every now and then.
    Just got to decide what types I’m going to try this year. Blue Sky today!

    • Liz says:

      My mint is on a go slow so a jug inside might be a good idea to get some leaves. Those are going to be really happy tomatoes. I think I need to get some more manure for my beds – a task for tomorrow perhaps or the weekend when they are finally forecasting a clear day.

  20. Jodie says:

    Hi Liz, your parsley pesto has inspired me! I have plenty of parsley I wonder would that parsley walnut combo go equally well inside pasta… as a tortelini/ raviloli type filling- perhaps with a bit of chicken mince???

    • Liz says:

      Ooooo I do like that idea – thankyou, or for vegetarians a breadcrumb instead of the mince – I can sense a project for this weekend coming on.

  21. Love the look of the beetroot, I’m struggling with mine after proclaiming how easy to grow they were earlier in the year. I’m envious that you’re picking broccoli already, mine are taking an age.

    • Liz says:

      I don’t think beetroot do that well from late Autumn plantings and I do find their growth can be quite slow over winter – they should get going soon though. I sowed the brocolli seed in Summer so the plants have been growing awhile now.

  22. zentMRS says:

    Lovely winter garden! I am planning for mine now – hope it does as well!

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