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Garden Harvests

April 10th, 2010

I forgot to mention a few weeks ago when I harvested my first salad from the garden. My spinach that I tried to overwinter didn’t make it so I wasn’t harvesting in February like I was last year. Last year my first harvest was in February, this year it was over a month later on March 17.

I harvested a salad of mache (corn salad), dandelion greens and garlic mustard. The funny thing is that I didn’t plant any of these. The mache seeded itself from a few plants that went to seed last spring. It’s growing around the edges of the raised beds and in the walkways around the raised beds. It overwintered without any protection whatsoever in the garden.

The garlic mustard is an invasive weed that we have lots of, good thing it’s edible! And dandelions, well we all have those, might as well eat them, they’re super healthy. We really loves salads, so we’ve been enjoying a few each week thanks to all of our “wild” plants. There’s nothing better than eating things you didn’t plant!

One of the things I really want to work on this year is winter gardening. I am currently reading Eliot Coleman’s newest book The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses. I’m hoping to use some of his techniques and have a nice harvest of greens throughout the winter.

Are you harvesting anything yet? Do you practice any cold weather techniques?

18 Comments to “Garden Harvests”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Garden Harvests http://goo.gl/fb/LN25h #edible #harvest #greens #salad #wildplants […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Eating wild greens | Chiot’s Run — Topsy.com's comment

  2. Julia on April 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Oh so jealous! The only thing that really comes back for me are scallions — which are ready for harvest but don’t make much of a salad.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Trial and (a lot of) Error =-.

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  3. pam on April 10, 2010 at 8:03 am

    It’s funny, we had some tomatoes that reseeded, and I think I enjoyed them more than the new ones that I had planted. I kept thinking of them as “free”.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Weekend Cat Blogging #253 =-.

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  4. Beegirl on April 10, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I am hooked on his book Four Season Harvest at the moment.. Didn’t see the one you posted yet. Thanks for posting the link. The radishes are up in the cold frame. 30 degrees here this am… 39 under glass. Kept about a 20 degree difference in there yesterday, with the cooler temps and no sun. Will have to see today now that the sun is out…
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..Everyday Life =-.

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    • Susy on April 10, 2010 at 8:19 am

      Yes, it’s warm in my cold frame. The automatic hinge has been popping up on the warm days, which means it’s warmer than 70 in there. I have radishes, peas and spinach in the cold frame, along with some dill.

      This is his newest book and very good. I also liked Four-Season Harvest. This one seems more refined, I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m on page 35.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Sense of Home on April 10, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I can hardly wait to harvest greens, they taste so good fresh. We though haven’t even planted any yet. It will be another three or four weeks before the ground is warm enough.
    .-= Sense of Home´s last blog ..Zucchini Fritters =-.

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  6. Dave on April 10, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Great way to take care of those weeds – eat them! Of course then they aren’t weeds any more – they are dinner.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..From the Vegetable Garden =-.

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  7. Pampered Mom on April 10, 2010 at 9:37 am

    We’re not harvesting anything yet and didn’t intentionally overwinter anything. That didn’t stop the Kale apparently. I went out there the other day and there are four plants (probably 1/3 or so of the original planting) that have lots of green leaves on them. Go figure!

    I checked Coleman’s book out from the library, but haven’t really had much of a chance to read it yet.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Folk Music Fridays – “Lark in the Morning” =-.

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  8. kitsapFG on April 10, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I do overwinter crops and also do agressive season extension as well – so we have been enjoying some fresh fare all through the winter. However, the salad season really go underway about three weeks ago with the chinese cabbages and mache, and now the lettuces are all going strong too and the spinach is almost ready for harvest. We have about four more weeks of really great salads before the warmer weather makes the salad crops less impressive or abundant. By then the other garden crops are going strong so no one minds if the salads start getting less frequent.

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  9. Kelly on April 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I loved that book, and plan on putting some of it into practice this fall/winter. I suppose, technically, we’ve been “harvesting” some of the chives and the wild onion that appeared in the garden last year has been given a permanent home in one corner and is doing very well and I’ve been enjoying it. I give my lettuces, spinach and mustard another 1-2wks before we can properly harvest them. I’m aching for some already.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Weights and Measures =-.

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  10. Louise on April 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    This winter passed was the first time I tried to over-winter my veggie garden through using unheated hoop-houses. I get freezing temps here, not anything like what you have to deal with, but enough to kill-off a crop. I was successful with over-wintering my garden and ate from it continuously (and still am.) My crop consisted of Arugula, Mache, Spinage, Collard Greens, Swiss Chart, Cabbage, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Green Onions, Lettuces, Carrots and Beets. I was able to harvest a salad almost everyday from the different greens (baby Beet greens are wonderful in a salad.)

    Sometime in mid November I planted two of my seven 4×4 raised beds with Arugula and different Lettuces. During the cold months they did not grow a whole lot, but as soon as the somewhat warm weather appeared they took off. And I am eating from it now.

    During the cold season, all the veggies would freeze over during the night (not all nights, but a most), but would pull through the next morning. What I did notice is that as the temperature during the day started to increase, and it was still freezing at night the plants started showing more difficulty with the temperature differences. Meaning that the crop did better when it was both colder during the day as well as during the night.

    For me using hoop-houses is the way to go. It was a lot of work to constantly maintain it, because I would open them all up every-time the weather would allow it. I tried to catch every-bit of sunlight I could to give the plants what they needed. If anyone is thinking about hoop-houses for over-wintering their veggies, my advice is to use heavy-duty plastic for the construction.

    Mine consisted of PVC sprinkler pipe and plastic. I connected the plastic to the PVC with metal clamps. Since the clamps were removable, I used them every-time to clamp the plastic up as my hoop-houses were open for the day. The shape of my hoop-houses was that of an igloo; It can be very windy where I live and this shape seemed to work real well taking a daily beating from the wind.

    The shape was created by setting two of the PVC pipes diagonally of one and other in my 4×4 raised bed. The pipes bend easily. I then tied the pipes together were they intersected each-other at the top with metal wire. This allows for the shape to stay intact. Then I draped the plastic over the PVC housing and used eight clamps per hoop-house to clamp the plastic down. Four on the poles and four clamps to the raised bed. This secured the plastic to the raised bed and to the PVC structure. My hoop-houses have now been stored away until the coming winter. Hope this info is helpful to some of you.

    I have read that Dandelion greens are really healthy for you, but I think that my free-range chickens know this too; because they beat me to them every-time :)

    Reply to Louise's comment

  11. MAYBELLINE on April 10, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Today’s harvest:
    Romaine, beets, carrots, peas, strawberries.

    Cold weather techniques:
    Probably what most of the country is practicing now. It just doesn’t get that cold in Bakersfield, CA.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Espalier Pruning =-.

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  12. Teresa on April 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Just ran across your site and I love it! Where in Ohio are you? I’m in Mt Vernon. Haven’t put my peas in yet because I’m currently busting my butt to amend the horrible soil in the back (moved the garden, the soil closer to the house was better, but we wanted to make some alterations to get a bigger veggie garden). Backbreaking but can’t wait to see what comes of all of the hard work.

    Reply to Teresa's comment

  13. Michelle on April 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

    This is wonderful…a bonus! And I haven’t delved into winter gardening…yet. I’m still figuring out summer gardening!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Friday…and that little giveaway I mentioned! =-.

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  14. Morgan G on April 11, 2010 at 11:49 am

    At home, we’re harvesting lettuce. Made our first from-the-garden salad as well this month. Other than that, it’s lots of herbs – dill, cilantro, sage and thyme.

    At work (a 28 acre farm in Orange County, CA) the highlights of the harvest are: romaine, carrots, kale, chard and the most delicious strawberries around. Sadly, they’ve already reached their peak here. I sampled a few last week and already they taste just a tad drier. Really teaches you to embrace the seasons!
    .-= Morgan G´s last blog ..On the Nightstand: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind =-.

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  15. Kenny on April 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Nice salad there! I’ve been harvesting kale, collards, mustard, arugula, and leeks since the beginning of March. Now there’s also plenty of dandelions, garlic mustard, and chickweed all around. Over wintered some baby lettuces in a cold frame that have now been transplanted into the garden and are growing nicely.
    .-= Kenny´s last blog ..Flourishing during the Season’s Hunger Gap =-.

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  16. Kim on April 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    We are reading that too. This will be our first year of 4 seasons harvest. We have 10+ crops growing in our greehouse…in Maine. Unusual for this area. So excited to have it!

    Reply to Kim's comment

  17. Robin Mullet on April 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I have a volunteer collard greens plant doing rather nicely. I hope it conitnues. It will great to have collard greens so early and I didn’t even have to do any work for it!

    Reply to Robin Mullet's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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