Friday, May 13, 2011

What's for Lunch?

These are the salad days at our house.

We brought in all the Capitan and Tiny Tim lettuces, and most of the Marvel of Four Seasons (packed into bags in the fridge). The first two don't hold up well in the heat, and I am hoping to find out how well Marvel holds up. I'll be nibbling on the remaining Marvel plant on and off to find out when it turns bitter. Still in the yard are the oak-leaf lettuces (this year those are all Bronze Arrow), which should be fine for a couple more weeks, and the SloBolt, which should be fine into June.

We still have some radishes left in the garden, and the peas, both English and Sugar Snap, have just recently begun making additions to our meals.

Also making regular appearances are the many herbs, both the ones we planted on purpose and the ones that have re-seeded into the yard. There's a lot of dill that I will be thinning soon, and bringing the thinnings in to dry for later use. Last year's parsley is starting to make flowers, but the leaves are still just fine to use. We even still have a little cilantro! All the plants in the sunnier spots went to seed a while back, but the plants in shadier locations still have plenty of usable leaves.

For someone who cooks, herbs are a great choice of plants to grow, because getting them at the store in those little plastic packets costs a small fortune. Today, our lunchtime salad is a pesto-potato salad (on a bed of lettuce) (it has peas in it), for which buying basil leaves would have made me pretty unhappy. I will admit that making the pesto last summer wasn't exactly my favorite activity, but we have been using the frozen cubes of pesto all winter long, and we still have a few more cubes in the freezer.

The Hanover Salad Kale has bolted, along with most of the other earlier greens. That hasn't stopped me from taking more leaves off the spinach plants; they are just a bit tougher than earlier in the spring. Those plants are all coming out soon, though.

In another week or two, the newest Perpetual Spinach Chard will be big enough to add to meals, too. The carrots will be ready at about that same time, and so will the beets.

It is great to have food from the garden on my plate!

4 comments:

  1. The constant quest for heat tolerant lettuces! Can't wait to compare notes as the season heats up!

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  2. I'll be interested in hearing what works for you, too. We had several days with temps around 90 (a little above, a little below), and lots of lettuces can't take that kind of heat.

    The forecast is for cooler weather for the next several days, and possibly some rain! Looking forward to that, as long as it falls in moderation (what are the odds of that?).

    -Amy

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  3. I hope your lettuce got a bit of an extension with these cooler days. I grow butter crunch and LoRosa in a galvanized tub on my deck for quick salads. We're about at the end of it. I was worried last week that it would get bitter before we ate it all but the weekend turned cool. I live in NW GA - Floyd County and it was 40 degrees this morning. I know the tomatoes and other warm veggies need warmer nights. Still don't have my peppers or cucumbers in the garden. It's been a work in progress at my house too!

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  4. Barbara, The oak leaf lettuces usually tolerate more heat than most of the others, so the patch of Bronze Arrow is fine. I won't worry about the Slobolt for a few more weeks.

    Usually, when I start worrying about the lettuces turning bitter, I harvest what I'm worried about, wash it, and cram it into the fridge (in plastic bags). It can last that way for almost two weeks, if there is so much that we can't eat it all sooner. I think of it as "extending the harvest."

    Hope you are able to get some more done in the yard now that the weather is returning to more normal temperatures! I am getting closer to done, but still have things to do . . .

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