Monday Harvest – 2nd Jan 2012

Happy New Year!  Of course most of this harvest comes from 2011 which is probably just as well as I’m not really used to 2012 yet.  In fact some of this harvest was growing last winter which, as I sit here and the mercury creeps towards 40 degrees (104F), seems a long time ago indeed.  I harvested my last red cabbage this week which, due to the heat, has mainly been used to make coleslaw.

The majestic butter beans are still going strong, although annoyingly I had a woody one in this batch.  I am really pleased with our spring onions though – along with lettuce I’ve used them in salads pretty much everyday this week.

The tomatoes are starting to ripen – most go straight from vine to mouth but this represents our current crop, as well as the Cape Gooseberries which suffer the same fate as the tomatoes.  Of the cherry sized tomatoes so far we have had ripe Sweet F100 Hybrid, Broad Ripple Current, Baby Red Pear, Tommy Toe, and Yellow Boy.

I harvested the first lot of shallots this week, the first of what should be a reasonable crop considering I didn’t plant that many in the first place.

Anything green is getting a pretty good run in my kitchen at the moment – I am obsessed with mint and put it in everything – from white wine spritzers, via tea to coleslaw and salads.  The basil is starting to pick up too (it seems to have been quite slow growing this year) – there is some in that pile of salad ingredients in case you hadn’t noticed.


As I mentioned earlier we have been eating a lot of lettuce, mainly loose leaf varieties, due to my inability to grow iceberg lettuce, and quite a bit of Cos.

I cooked sorrel for the first time this week, making a cannellini bean and sorrel dish inspired by a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty which I was given for Christmas.  The tarragon, parsley and spring onions pictured here also went into the dish.  Incidentally if you think part of this photo looks a little blurry, rather than just out of focus, you are absolutely right – I was wondering why my images looked a little odd when I had a look at the camera and found three small, 2 year old boy sized, finger prints on the lens.

I also turned out another tub of Kipflers – the best yield yet – over 35 salad sized potatoes weighing 1.25kg from a 40cm pot.  These came from a pot in which the potting mix was gradually hilled up as the plants grew.  If you’ve been following my previous potato posts you’ll know that my experience has been that; the hilling up method doesn’t produce as many Kipflers potatoes – expect of course in this instance where it has produced more.  So either; this is the exception that proves the rule, or proof that I have no idea what increases yields of Kipfler potatoes (or possibly both….).

And lastly but by no means leastly – my first jade beans and my first slicing tomato – a not quite (but almost) ripe Rouge de Marmande.  I saw a mouse the other day and didn’t want to tempt fate by leaving it on the vine any longer.  The silverbeet here was used in tonight’s dinner – Spanikopita, with those cucumbers as a side salad.  I also served the Spanikopita with the Beetroot & Date Chutney I made in October.  This was the first time I had opened one of the jars – I really enjoyed it and will definitely make that chutney recipe again.

For other harvests from around the globe skip on over to Daphne’s Dandelions.

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21 Responses to Monday Harvest – 2nd Jan 2012

  1. Frogdancer says:

    Am envious. Your garden is so much more advanced than mine!

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Some great-looking veg there as usual, Liz. I think you can hardly complain TOO bitterly if you have only had one stringy bean. It happens from time to time!
    BTW: I also have “Plenty”. Love it. Full of inspiration.
    Re lettuce: I invented a new dish this week – a starter composed of Iceberg lettuce leaves filled with a hot mixture of mushrooms, spring onions and crumbled Black Pudding. It was lovely.

    • Liz says:

      You’re right of course regarding the whinging about the stringy bean. Interesting dish and I guess its like an English version of San Choy Boi.

  3. I saw all of these wonderful summer harvests and wondered where the heck you are located. I see that you are in Australia so you’re in prime harvest season right now. The red cabbage looks great. I recently made wine-braised red cabbage, albeit with a store-bought cabbage (so it didn’t look as fresh as yours!), for Christmas dinner. Nice potatoes as well 🙂

    • Liz says:

      I love cooked cabbage but at the moment salad is definitely the way to go for us – at least until the cool change comes tomorrow.

  4. Bee Girl says:

    What a phenomenal harvest! It’s officially my turn to covet your garden while waiting for spring to arrive here 😉 Happy 2012!

  5. kitsapFG says:

    Gorgeous harvests this week! Those of us in the cold side of the world at the moment can live vicariously through you and dream about our summer garden harvests.

    • Liz says:

      Its funny as much as i love the harvests sometimes I think dreaming about the harvests is almost as good – and comparatively trouble free.

  6. Mary Hysong says:

    Everything is so lovely! I don’t know what to tell you about growing iceberg lettuce tho. I don’t grow it because it doesn’t have the nutritional value of leaf and cos lettuce.

    • Liz says:

      I didn’t realise that – I presumed all lettuce had a fairly small amount of nutritional value – from what you say I guess the leaf varieties & Cos has some then. Perhaps I should be pleased with my iceberg failures then.

  7. Andrea says:

    Im sure theres no grumbles at your table with such fresh and colorful veggies ! It must be the season for potatoes I’m also experiencing a great crop. Hope your garden didn’t suffer to greatly from the Xmas day storm.

    • Liz says:

      We have a few hail holes but thats about it from Christmas day – I think we were probably on the edge of the affected areas. We were at my parents place which got no hail at all.

  8. Norma Chang says:

    Gorgeous collection. That red cabbage just popped out of the photo, beautiful.

  9. Robin says:

    Wow, it looks like your gardening season is in full swing! Your temp is 104 and ours will be 11 tonight!

    • Liz says:

      That is just too cold! It does bring it home how much difference the positioning of the sun makes to the earth though doesn’t it?

  10. Jody says:

    I’m so glad you’re having a great harvest. As I look out at winter snow and cold wind, it’s good to be reminded that the sun is shining warmly somewhere in the world!

    • Liz says:

      A little too warmly at times for at least one of my tomato plants but I don’t mind, it should get a bit unbearably hot at least once every summer in my view.

  11. Diana says:

    I have cucumber envy at the moment;-)…hahaha…cos it will be nice to bite on cool cucumber in this hot weather, since ours are not growing that much. Yup basil are a bit slow this summer too for us. A great variety of harvest!

    • Liz says:

      I have to say I am enjoying our cucumbers at the moment. Glad the cool change has come – its so much more comfortable today isn’t it?

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