Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Harvest Time - Late March - Early April

Dear Folks,

There is nothing like 'grocery shopping' in your own backyard.  Here are some pictures of the harvest for the last couple of weeks.

I harvested this batch for Easter dinner and salads this week.  The strange looking spirals are 'scapes' from my garlic which I used as a bed for the roasted chicken.  Also in the picture are sugar peas (I made a pasta dish with orzo and the sugar peas), the asparagus I sauteed with a tiny amount of a fat combination of olive oil, butter and natural bacon fat.  The carrots I poached in our blood orange juice.

Next is purple cauliflower - I do not usually grow 'head' veggies because they take up so much room, but I couldn't pass up a tiny transplant from Vilardi Gardens when I was at Root Phoenix in January and look what it did!  The purple and orange cauliflowers have more antioxidants than their white relative.  Going to be part of dinner this coming Sunday - on the grill they get some amazing taste going.

This morning (April 3rd) I harvested some artichokes and a bunch of my white and red alpine strawberries.

I am going to cook up the artichokes and marinate the babies and use the 'parings' for a broth - I finally found a use for the tough leaves etc. through a tread on the Valley Permaculture Alliance, to make a broth base for soup and I can't wait to try it out.  I so hate to just compost 'leavings' when I could 'make over' into something - before composting anything but meat and fat - recycling at its absolute best!!

And finally, a picture of the Johnny Jump-Ups in the lawn.  I seed these in during the winter to give us something to look at while the lawn is dead - and of course they are edible so I can add them to salads or even the strawberries for additional visual delight.

I hope you enjoy this pictorial harvest.  Those new to gardening in the desert often think we can't grow things here either because of the heat or because of the chilly winters.  Even with the hard freeze we had this year the strawberries and lettuces were surviving just fine - thank you very much - and the artichokes and asparagus took off like green rockets as soon as the freezes were over.

Enjoy Spring!

P.S.  The wildflower season this year is great - we probably have another 2-3 weeks of spectacular blooms to see, so head out and catch the color.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady