Mary's Veggie Garden

January 18, 2016

Surprise Harvest: Kohlrabi in Winter

Filed under: Kohlrabi,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 11:46 am
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At the start of winter two Kolibri kohlrabi remained in my garden. Both were transplanted into the garden last spring on 4/28. They were still small when the summer vegetables started producing, so I ignored them, figuring they would never amount to anything. Both were in partly shaded areas of the garden and they continued to grow slowly. Eventually one split.

In the first days of January, on one of the many warm days we’ve enjoyed this winter, I did some garden cleanup. The forecast predicted overnight lows around 10°F so I thinned and pruned the raspberries before the ground froze.

That’s when I noticed the kohlrabi. Thinking it would be tough & stringy, I was tempted to throw it in the wheelbarrow with the raspberry prunings. At least it wasn’t mush, even though it had experienced several nights with low temperatures around 20°F.

I decided to give one kohlrabi a try and it was a pleasant surprise. The flesh was white and tender. It was a bit fibrous at the base, but that is normal where the bulb turns into the stem.

I cooked the kohlrabi with carrots and onions from my root cellar using this simple recipe: https://marysveggiegarden.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/braised-carrots-and-kohlrabi/ .

Lesson learned: a mature Kolibri kohlrabi can survive temperatures down to 20° F. This is a surprise because  I’ve seen a late spring freeze of 28°F kill kohlrabi transplants that had already been in the garden a couple of weeks.

My ultimate Kolibri kohlrabi.

My ultimate Kolibri kohlrabi. It looks pretty good considering it’s been almost 9 months in the garden.

The second kohlrabi is still in the garden. It’s experienced several nights around 10° F. I’ll harvest it on Wednesday, the next time the temperature will be above freezing and it can thaw naturally before harvest. I wonder how it will be? Will the additional 10° F of cold make a difference in the eating quality?

1/23 update: I harvested the final kohlrabi last Wednesday, when the temperature had been slightly above freezing for several hours.  It was hard and looked icy. I think it was at least half frozen.  It smelled a bit funky.  I bagged it and placed it in the refrigerator to thaw. After thawing, it was very soft and smelled worse. It went into the trash. It did not survive several 10° F nights.

 

August 17, 2015

8/17/2015 Harvest Monday

Filed under: Corn,Edamame,Onions,Tomatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:42 pm
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It was a fine day for harvesting. I wanted tomatoes with breakfast so I started early. It was only 68° F – cool enough to not sweat while wearing long sleeves and pants, my protection against ticks.

5 oz. of Jasper cherry tomatoes, about half today's harvest.

5.2 oz. of Jasper cherry tomatoes, about half today’s harvest.

A batch of Jasper cherry tomatoes, about half the harvest. I took the picture after eating them for breakfast and lunch. I’m harvesting about 1/2 pound of Jasper per day. I suspect the chipmunks are also getting some which is why I have 2 plants. For supper I cut a hand-full of Jaspers through the equator and used them to provide the liquid in a sauté of onion, beans and zucchini. The tomatoes retained their shape and the skins were tender.

Cucumber Sweet Success

Cucumber Sweet Success

I’m getting one, occasionally two, Sweet Success Cucumbers a day. They are so long that one per day is more than the two of us eat.

Rattlesnake pole beans.

Rattlesnake pole beans – 11 oz.

Rattlesnake green beans. I’ll freeze these because the previous harvest is still in the fridge.

After breakfast I biked the 2.5 miles to my community garden plot. I expected to harvest cherry tomatoes and maybe some onions but I returned with full panniers.

Sungold cherry tomatoes.

Sungold cherry tomatoes.

The Sungold tomatoes are starting to slow, the colander is not as full as last week. This is 1.75 pounds – the production of 4 plants for 2 days.

Copra onions,

Copra onions, curing on wire shelves in a protected area of the patio.

The tops of the Copra onions started folding over late last week. They seem much later than usual. I just checked –  Copra harvest started a week earlier in 2013. Then again, snow melt delayed the plowing this year,  so I planted the onions 2-3 weeks later than in 2013. Later planting didn’t delay the Cabernet onions – most of them are cured and in storage now.

Toyha edamame soy beans.

Toyha edamame soy beans.

It was getting hot, rising up through the eighties, but I forced myself to check the soy beans then decided it was necessary to start harvest. This is about a quarter of the planting:  2.75 pounds of edamame in the pod. A few pods contain no beans but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Ten days ago I discovered the hose in the soy bed was not connected to the main feed line. The hose was hidden by the mulch and row cover. We’ve had only 3″ of rain in the last 6 weeks and the edamame did remarkably well without supplemental water.

Sweet corn Honey Select

Sweet Corn Honey Select

Just before leaving, I checked the corn. These are my first ears, from a 6/4 planting of Honey Select. At supper, my husband pronounced the corn just about perfect. I think the flavor is a bit ‘cornier’ than the “Incredible” that I’ve grown for the last several years but the two varieties are equally sweet.

By now it was noon, the temperature was above 90°F, and I was the only person remaining at the community gardens. The bike ride home was a slog  – I pedaled as little I could and still get over the hills, setting no speed records. A heatwave like this is unusual for August.  It seems to be cooling faster in the evening than during a June or July heat wave so my (non-airconditioned) house is not unbarable.

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