Friday, July 08, 2011

Garden 2011: First Cut

Firsts are always worth noting, and this morning was the initial harvest of early arugula and radishes from our raised bed. Yes, there'd been some thinning and a "tasting" of an early radish or two, but today those seeds I sowed had grown to the point I could actually pull some plants out of the ground to have for dinner. Woo hoo!

It was almost exactly one month ago, in a very-late-for-Portland mid-June, I finally planted our garden with tomatoes, collards, lacinato kale, arugula, carrots, radishes, beans, cukes, a couple of squash and a smattering of herbs. Tomatoes are growing (slowly) and starting to flower, I've lost a three or four of the dozen or so lacinato kale plants—still leaving plenty—and the carrots have pretty much stubbornly refused to germinate (I blame bad seeds) and I've resowed them.

The basket of arugula and radishes (top photo) makes me happy just looking at them, and I plan to use the arugula for a salad tonight and maybe try my hand at radish fritters, using the greens to make an aioli.

What, you didn't know radish greens were edible? They're a great braising green in soups and stews or sautéed with bacon and garlic for pasta, and they'd be awesome in my friend Sophie's recipe for Indian Poriyal. The leaves have teeny stiff hairs all over them and are a bit prickly but don't seem to sting like nettles. Plus the hairs are completely unnoticeable once they're cooked.

All in all a very promising (and hopeful) start!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your harvest. Just a note to tell you that carrot seeds are notoriously hard to start--it could be that you didn't keep them damp ALL the time until they sprout. I put a layer of insect barrier cloth (that I also cover my lettuce with)on the ground, directly over the carrot seeds so when I wet them down they don't wash away. In the spring it is a little easier to sprout them, but summer plantings can be successful if you are vigilant about the watering.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks for the hint…if this new batch doesn't come up, I'll try again and keep my hand on the watering can!

Portland Charcuterie Project said...

tholy moly.. I'm already done with radishes and arugula here in pdx...

I'm getting ready to plant fall carrots, beets, kale, and chard.

My tomatoes look like they'll be ready just in time for fall canning :(

My spring carrots were difficult as well, only about 30% took hold.

Oh well.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Wow, PCP, you must be in some kinda microclimate…my arugula is only just now ready!

And fall crops? Yikes! Not around here yet…I'm still waiting for my lacinato to grow. And glad I'm not the only one having trouble with carrots.

Good luck in the coming weeks!