Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Unexpected Harvest

Today I spied this brilliant indigo bunting just outside the window.

The Lettuce Report is coming soon.

As (unusually good) luck would have it, I had my camera in my hand. I had just picked it up to download photos for this blog. The first shot with my short lens gave me a tiny bird in the middle of the frame. Fortunately, the bunting was busy eating seeds or bugs and I had time to change lenses for this closer shot. The gray day and rain-dampened grass made the colors stand out fabulously.

Not the largest head, but a beauty.
Which goes to show that you should always be ready for the unexpected on the farm. For example, on Tuesday morning I had planned to pick spinach and lettuce, then plant the eggplants. After harvesting a couple of pounds of spinach and a pound and a half of lettuce, I peered through the row cover over the broccoli beds to see if anything was forming. To my surprise, the broccoli was ready to cut.

One of two baskets full of broccoli.
 So, instead of planting eggplants, I spent much of the rest of the morning harvesting broccoli heads and greens (the leaves of the broccoli plant are tasty, too). Eleven pounds of broccoli heads and 9 pounds of greens. Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon steaming and freezing that harvest, four gallon size bags of heads and two of greens. Now I will wait for little side shoots to form on the broccoli, and for the remaining leaves to get large enough to harvest.

The equipment dirtied during the freezing frenzy last night has yet to be cleaned. We decided to sauna, watch a video and leave the kitchen cleaning undone until this morning, when I am stuck inside due to the much needed rain.

A pile of broccoli greens.
 I also was excited to see that some of the cauliflower is starting to form heads and the cabbage heads are swelling. Our main crop of these cole veggies will go in this fall, when they will mature during cool days. Then I will turn some of the cabbage into sauerkraut and put a lot of greens away in the freezer for winter use.

I did plant some of the eggplants on Tuesday afternoon, and the rest went in yesterday morning.

If only all of the unexpected things on the farm were as delightful as those detailed here.

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