Thursday, July 31, 2008

Abundance


I've been amazed at how easy it has been to let some veggies grow in our garden this year. This is our first year to plant vegetables and it's been a great experience. I don't think we could ask for better weather. Rain has come often enough that we've barely bestirred ourselves to water.

For weeks we have been harvesting a bumper crop of green leaf lettuce. Each time we picked, we'd get the biggest leaves from the outside layer, and it seems like within three days the next layer of leaves would be big and new ones were coming is as fast as could be.

Finally those plants have bolted and the leaves are bitter. But they are not too bitter to eat, especially with honey-mustard dressing, or sauteed in some garlic.

So today A and I harvested all the rest of the plants, stripped the leaves off the stalks (because each was at least 18 inches tall) and harvested three packed gallons of leafy greens. That's three weeks or a month's worth for our family. I'm not the only one who eats them, but I do eat more than anyone else, I think. We eat other fruits and veggies, of course, too.

Earlier in the season we had a very lovely run of spinach and a couple of heads of red leaf lettuce that we harvested in similar manner.

The squash plants are rotting on the vines, but the tomatoes are lovely. We've already harvested one little cluster of precocious grape tomatoes, and the two grape tomato plants are hard at work producing and ripening LOTS more. As are the larger tomato plants. I'll post pictures when those are ready to harvest.

It's fun to go out and check our humble little garden. And there's something about growing it yourself that makes you really excited to eat it. Even if it is "just" bitter greens!

Glory to God, who makes things grow!

6 comments:

Mimi said...

I'm not sure how to put up lettuce, and we've had a bumper crop from our CSA as well.

Congratulations!

Theodora said...

Hi Alana, nothing to do with vegetables and forgive me for being lazy and not emailing this:

http://www.snowflake66.com/

I thought you and your DDs might *love* this concept and you would definitely have the talent/skills/materials/equipment to do it!

PS -- Amazing that the lettuce has lasted this long. I'd have expected bolting bitterness back in June some time. Good for you!

Mimi, a good way to deal with lettuce is to wash carefully, dry thoroughly in a salad spinner, blog dry the rest of the way, then put in plastic bags and press all the air out (like Alana shows). It should keep for several weeks in the fridge this way. Wisdom from a food scientist (not me).

Mimi said...

Mimi, a good way to deal with lettuce is to wash carefully, dry thoroughly in a salad spinner, blog dry the rest of the way, then put in plastic bags and press all the air out (like Alana shows). It should keep for several weeks in the fridge this way. Wisdom from a food scientist (not me).


Awesome! Thanks! Can you freeze the baggies too?

Theodora said...

Hi Mimi,
Oh, sorry no!! If you freeze lettuce all the cells will burst.

And I forgot to mention a FIRST first important step: after the lettuce is washed, but before you spin it, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes or so. The idea is to fully hydrate all the cells. Then spin, dry, bag, and de-oxygenate asap.

Mimi said...

It's a good thing lettuce grows year round, then, I guess.

Thanks!

Marfa said...

Our greens are bitter, too...but they're okay to eat if you have enough other stuff with it, like grape tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, some chopped up chicken and cucumbers. Yum.