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Harvest Monday – May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

This was a week of 100g harvests.

It was also a week of total exhaustion, so that for a while I thought I wouldn’t have anything to show at all. Work has actually been less busy than it was in the previous three weeks, but it seems I’ve got no reserves left. I kept coming home too worn out to even cook dinner – I ate an embarrassing amount of frozen pizza this week, and didn’t even bother with making a salad (and I always have a salad with pizza).

The only thing I harvested every day was garden cress to put on my breakfast toast:

The fact that I was eating toast for breakfast is another sign of my exhaustion – I only eat toast if I’m too worn out to make a muesli or anything, and even too worn out to cut and chew brown bread.

But on Thursday, I ate the last veggies for my lunch sandwiches, which is as much of a problem as running out of bread*, so dragged myself outside to find some radishes. I actually harvested them mostly by touch, as it was already dark (I wasn’t sure I’d have time on Friday morning) – and got precisely 100 g.

One upside to this too-exhausted-to-harvest thing: I actually let my radishes grow to a decent size, instead of eating them when they’re just about the size of a pea.

It seems that this was the push I needed to get back to harvesting – the same day, I also decided to finally get rid of the starved-looking little looseleaf lettuce plants in one of the railing planters. I used cheaper potting mix in that planter, and nothing’s looking happy in there. I cut off the entire lettuce plants (I’d barely harvested anything from them, and they’re my oldest plants!), dug out the roots and filled the holes with better potting mix and horn meal… planted some kohlrabi and broccoli today, we’ll see how they’ll do.

I never weigh my lettuce – I got two salads out of this, so I’m counting it as the equivalent of half a head of crisphead lettuce (which was what I was buying during the winter because it keeps so much better than butterhead – but it doesn’t taste of anything at all!). By that count, I’ve only saved € 3.28 – maybe I should start weighing it, since a mix of looseleaf lettuce costs € 12/kg (finally got around to checking some prices).

On Saturday, after only four hours of work (putting me at a total of ‘only’ 51.5 hours for the week), I finally felt up to cooking again. In a desperate attempt to keep my parsley in check, I made parsley potatoes:

I’m eating ridiculous amounts of parsley, that stuff just grows like crazy!

And I picked the first Swiss chard – my first chard ever, actually, up to now I’ve only ever bought it from the farm. And again, I got precisely 100 g!

No, I haven’t been tampering with those scales!

I tossed the chard into a pot with a chopped onion and my usual ridiculous amount of garlic and cooked it a little too long while I fried the potatoes and some fish, then sat on the balcony to eat.

As you can see, I still don’t have a table or chairs… I could carry out my dining room table, which is light enough to carry easily (actually it feels like it weighs less than my chairs!) and tiny enough to fit into the little free space , but why bother? I’ve always found chairs pretty unnecessary.

On Sunday, another salad, and this time I tried to find out how many different things I could put in it. I ended up with twelve things – which doesn’t yet beat the 19-ingredient salad my best friend and I made last summer, but those things were all from the store and the farm, while the twelve this time were all from the balcony.

Those twelve things are:

  1. Lollo Bionda lettuc
  2. Lollo Rosso lettuce
  3. radish leaves**
  4. Swiss chard
  5. cauliflower leaf**
  6. nasturtium
  7. arugula
  8. spring onion
  9. garden cress
  10. parsley
  11. chives
  12. viola flowers

I could probably have added some other herbs as well, and possibly some of my various kinds of Oxalis – I think that they’re all edible, though you shouldn’t eat them in large amounts. But I need to read up on that.

This is just the best kind of salad… because, as my best friend put it the last time we cooked and ate together, you never know what you’re going to get!

Oh, now I can’t wait until I can throw in homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, too!

Don’t forget to head over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what other people are harvesting – and of course, thanks to Daphne for organizing Harvest Monday!

_______

* I’m not usually a picky eater, but I have a really hard time eating anything that doesn’t have vegetables. Actually, it’s mostly a texture thing – I need something ‘crunchy’ – which is why I still need a salad even if I have cooked vegetables. In any case, eating a sandwich without some tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers or radishes is nearly impossible. I think at one point I actuall ate a cheese sandwich with apple because it was all I had left, and I could not eat just bread and cheese.

Makes me wonder why I turned out that way, while the Carpenter Brother is a total carnivore, and doesn’t eat vegetables or fruit at all. And the Clown Brother won’t eat anything that requires chewing, though there are sort-of understandable reasons for that.

** less because I like them or even because I want to save money… mostly it’s because I don’t have a compost bin and it seriously bugs me to throw anything that I would compost if I could into the thrash. So I try to eat as much as I can, which includes cauliflower leaves I’ve accidentally broken off.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 16:14

    I hope you feel more chipper soon. I’ve been more tired than usual last week too as I had a cold and my allergies were acting up. Part of me was happy for all the rain so I didn’t have much to do in the garden.

    • May 24, 2011 21:35

      I’m actually feeling quite a lot better after a rather restful weekend and working ‘only’ 8 hours today. Well enough to be interested in reading again, even.

  2. Ginny Burton permalink
    May 24, 2011 22:13

    You could do miniature composting: in a tall, clean plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid, toss in all your veggie scraps and some old potting soil from repotting some plants, along with coffee grounds and filters, trimmings from pruning plants into shape, etc. Nothing needs to be wasted, and you also wouldn’t have to eat cauliflower leaves!

    • May 24, 2011 22:24

      I thought about that before, but it’s getting to the point again where I really don’t have any space to spare, and I also don’t particularly want to deal with anything that might get mouldy. And it would – there are just too many kitchen scraps and too little dry stuff.
      And we’re supposed to get organic waste bins in July – not such a long wait any more (the town government’s only argued about it for a couple of years… *eyeroll*)

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