Monday, July 25, 2016

Harvest Monday 25 July 2016

I pulled the rest of the beets and radishes. There are a few beet and turnip seedlings left in the beds but I don't know how they will do with the relentless heat and dry conditions. The jalapenos are starting to produce, since it has been hot but not so hot to cause the pepper blossoms to drop.

I also harvested the last of the Napa cabbages. They were small but dense and the two together weighed over 2 pounds (about a kilo). Not a lot of slug damage on them, so maybe the dry conditions are dispatching some of the slugs. I also took the rest of the kohlrabi since they were not looking happy and I didn't want them bolting on me.

 The Copra yellow onions flopped over, so they were pulled and are now drying for storage. Most are pretty good size, so it looks like a good year for them. The Red Wing red onions always take a few more weeks to mature so they are still in the garden and being watered, along with the leeks.

The two large Alpine Korean radishes I harvested last week were turned into this jar of kkakdugi, a fermented kimchi made from radishes. It is often found among the small banchan dishes served with a meal at Korean restaurants and is quite tasty. I used a recipe from Maangchi's new cookbook, Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking, which I highly recommend, and you can find her videos on the Internet. I essentially made a half batch which easily filled a quart jar.

I peeled and diced two pounds of radishes and tossed them with 1 Tbsp. (14 g.) each of sea salt and sugar. Let the radishes sit for an hour, then pour off and save the juice. Toss the radishes with 3-4 cloves minced garlic, small piece of minced ginger, 2-3 chopped scallions, about 12 g. gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) or more to taste, about 1 ounce (30 ml) of fish sauce, and enough of the reserved juice to moisten the mixture. Pack it tightly into a wide mouth jar, cover and let sit for a day or overnight. Then store in the refrigerator.

Maangchi's cookbook has some other interesting kimchi recipes. I liked the looks of the stuffed  cucumbers, small cucumbers quartered lengthwise and stuffed with a mix of shredded carrot, chives, onion, garlic and gochugaru. Another interesting one is Nabak-kimchi, or vegetable-and-fruit-water kimchi, which combines Napa with sliced cucumbers, apples, radishes, carrots and fresh chilies. I think a jar of that is in my future.

The harvest this week was mostly about salvaging what I can from the cool weather crops in the garden. The tomatoes, peppers, summer squash,  and to some extent the beans, are doing OK with the weather and the amount of watering I can do. Everything else is dead or dying with the heat and drought we have been having. I know, I have already complained about the drought, but the situation is, my garden is dead except the crops I mentioned above. On June 8 we had one rain of about 1 inch, and no appreciable rain since.

We normally get about 4 inches of rain a month, 48-53 inches a year. Looking at weather records from a Weather Underground station a mile from me, we have gotten 12.5 inches of precipitation in the first 7 months, putting  us down about 16 inches. There were 4 precipitation events of 1 inch size and another 3 half-inch events. The rest were fractions of an inch, amounts that just evaporated when they hit the hot ground. I say events, not rain, because two of the 1 inch events were snow in January and February. We had very little snow last winter, so there was not a lot of snow melt to fill the reservoirs.

Making things worse for some parts of  Massachusetts south of here, there is a gypsy moth cycle going on that started last year and has seen some of the worst damage since the huge infestation in 1981. The dry weather has suppressed the fungi that normally attacks the caterpillars and keeps them in check. And the drought has severely stressed the trees, so the defoliation by the caterpillars may mean the loss of many of them.

I will probably miss next week's Harvest Monday post. We will be on the Schooner Heritage out of Rockland, Maine, making a run up to Mount Desert Island. On Tuesday we will be part of a tall ships parade up Somes Sound as part of the summer-long festivities around Acadia National Park's 100th birthday. This will be our first windjammer cruise, but I can see myself doing this every year. We are also planning to go up again in September for the MDI Garlic Festival, which this year includes a KC-sanctioned BBQ contest.

That is what happened in my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around the world are doing, visit Dave @ Our Happy Acres, our host for Harvest Monday.


  1. I'm hoping you get some rain, I know how difficult it is to deal with and here we expect rainless summers. And I can confirm that the slugs and snails go into hiding when things dry out, I can't remember the last time I found a slug in my veggie garden and the only snails I find are native ones that don't do much damage. I'm going to have to look up Maangchi's book, it sounds interesting.

  2. What a lot of "News" you have, Dave! Precipitation events, kimchi, gypsy moths, tall ships - the works! I hope your cruise goes well, without any Extreme Weather Events!

    1. Well, Mark, around here this year, any appreciable rain is a significant event, just like the appearance of the sun would be where you live. We need to arrange a trade.

  3. I hope the rain decides to come to your garden! I understand watching the weather like a hawk- it is definitely a gardener's obsession.

  4. Reading about your drought conditions reminds me that 'hot and dry' is much worse than the 'hot and wet' conditions we have been having here. 12.5 inches in seven months is hard to imagine when you are used to more than twice that amount. I am amazed you still have Napa cabbage!

    You can guess the radish kimchi sounds delicious to me. I'll have to check out the Maangchi cookbook too. I just ordered a Tsukemono pickling book, so it looks like I will be busy trying some Japanese style pickling too.

  5. The napa & kohlrabi look great! My napa seem to be forming heads, but I'm not exactly sure when to harvest them - I think they still need to size up a bit more. And many of my onions don't seem to be sizing up as well as yours - I've not had this issue before, so I'll have to do a bit of research on that.

    Your vacation on the Schooner Heritage looks awesome...have a wonderful time!

  6. Ooh, a BBQ contest! I've had my fill lately of "ribfests" in just about every city near me (all of which I took advantage of!).

    Really great looking onions - every time I see other gardeners onions, I think once more I must stop growing them because I am just not good at it. And then they slip into my garden again each spring! And I'm envious of the beets, haven't had many of those myself.

  7. Watering a garden in those conditions is a nightmare. But I have to say your onions look fantastic and it's amazing the cool weather crops you were able to grow. I'll be trying my first kohlrabi this week after nursing the plants along since May.

  8. Know what you mean about the relentless heat and dry conditions, it is a real challenge. On the positive side the sweet potatoes are loving the heat, hope for a bountiful crop.
    Have a wonderful trip. Acadia National Park is one of my favorite parks.


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