Archive for the ‘Parents’ garden’ Category

June 20th 2011: Harvest Monday
June 20, 2011

Overall, the last two months were very stressful, because of personal, family, work and study issues… the gardens are a way for me to relax. And now I’m back to show off my harvest! Thank to Daphne from Daphne’s Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday!

In the parents’ garden, most of the Asian greens, radishes and lettuce are out and have been replaced by the summer crops: hot peppers, beans, tomatoes of course, but also cape gooseberries and tomatillos, both of which I’m trying for the first time this year. The cape gooseberries are a little behind, but the tomatillos are starting to set fruits. Tomatoes look okay so far, the weather during the last ten days wasn’t ideal for them, but most are flowering, some started to set fruit. I’ll post some pictures soon. No harvest from the balcony this week, the parents’ garden provided more than enough.

Potatoes! approx. 1 kilo from one plant


4,3 kg strawberries from the strawberry field were mostly dehydrated or made into jam

Cherries from my parents' tree were dehydrated or canned

Radish pods. Lots of them, more than 0,5 kg (one pound). These plants are really, really productive, unfortunately I had to throw half of them out because they took up so much space. It seems like they are slowing down anyway

The snow peas are grown on a space of maybe 1-1,5m² and produce about 1-2 pounds per week - and that's only the pods that I find! I wasn't very careful with staking, so the plants are just a tangled mess, but productive anyway. And the taste? Wonderful!

Mizuna, already chopped up and packed for storing in the fridge. Unlike other Asian greens, it goes bad pretty quickly, so using it before it spoils is quite a challenge - especially if you harvested 5 kilos over the last 10 days! Mizuna grows on a 0,5-1m² plot and by now I harvested probably half of it.

I cut some arugula before we'll throw it out due to bolting

Overall, I feel like I’m spending a lot of time in the garden – about 8-10 hours per week – and with my food – maybe another 8 hours per week. The whole washing, chopping, cooking, canning, dehydrating is fun, but time consuming. Anyhow, I now understand a little better what it means to feel a connection to your food.


Second Harvest 2011
May 2, 2011

Thank you guys so much for your comments last week! I really appreciate them! And thanks to Daphne from Daphne’s Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday!

Last week I picked some cut-and-come-again lettuce from my balcony – the first balcony harvest this year! I took a picture with my phone but couldn’t find the SD card reader to transfer it to the computer… but let me tell you, it was delicious! I also harvested a lot from the parents garden. But like last year, the bok choy is already starting to bolt! We’ve had some warmer days about two or three weeks ago, then it got cold and rainy again – not exactly what I’d call bolting weather. Any advice on how to prevent bok choy from bolting?

Clockwise from behind/left: Wild garlic (Allium ursinum, a little hard to recognize from the small picture) for pesto, lovage for salad dressings, "Easter egg" radishes, bok choy, lilacs for sirup, Asian greens and rhubarb in the middle. Please ignore the mess in the background.

Easter Harvest
April 25, 2011

Harvest from my parents’ garden: some “easter egg” radishes, also rhubarb, chives, and in the back of the picture you can see a bowl of oriental greens – tatsoi, mustard “Red Giant” and komatsuna. I’m very happy that the garden is finally taking off!

I’m participating in Harvest Monday once again. Please go and check Daphne’s Dandelions for more harvests from around the world.

First Harvest of 2011
March 29, 2011

The harvest doesn’t come from the balcony, but my parents’ garden. They allowed me to plant some of their plots. So first we had to clean them. I told them not to turn over the soil, because I really don’t see the benefits of it. I mean, yes, of course I know them in theory, but more than anything else it’s a lot of work and it’s bad for your back (and we didn’t have compost anyway).

During the cleaning we dug up the Jerusalem artichokes. I took home about two kilo of them.


Jerusalem artichokes that overwintered in the soil (Dad's picture)

That was already two weeks ago. In the meantime, some plots were planted. Still nothing to harvest, but we went foraging around the backyard and found the following:

The blue colander is back!

It’s dandelions and bitter-cress! Dandelions (Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia) are best harvested right now (march/april). They taste great as salad or in soups. If the salad is too bitter for your taste, add a cooked potato. Large bitter-cress (Cardamine amara) is less famous than its relative watercress (Nasturtium officinale) but way easier to find. Both like wet soil. The taste of Cardamine amara is similar to garden cress (Lepidium sativum, they all belong to the cabbage family, Brassicaceae). If you go foraging, take the young and tender rosettes. Bitter-cress looks similar not only to watercress but also to Cardamine pratensis and Barbarea vulgaris. All of them are edible, but of course you’ll want to be sure what it is before you eat it.

It’s already tuesday, but I enter this post for Harvest Monday. Take a look at Daphne’s Dandelions to see more harvests from garden bloggers around the world!