Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Harvest Monday - 06/06/2016

I have been following the Harvest Monday posts for quite some time now, marveling at the wonderful harvests, drooling over the pictures of dishes using said harvests, appreciating the hard work that these gardeners have put into their gardens and widening my eyes over the beautiful green spaces being maintained!
Compared to these bounties, my gardening space is tiny and my harvests are very small. But they are gratifying and exciting nonetheless! I didn't plan at all for any spring harvests and my summer garden is just beginning to grow. But I have taken some offerings from my raised beds in the past couple of weeks.

Green leaved amaranth is one plant that is self sown in my patch. The first and last time that I sowed it was probably about 3 years ago. Since then, it comes up regularly like clockwork every spring and sometimes in the most unlikeliest of spaces! But you will hear no complaints from me because I love my amaranth greens. I saute them with garlic and red chillies for a simple side dish or I add chopped leaves and tender stems to lentils to make a hearty Indian daal to go with rice.                                     
This year I am also growing Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdariffa or sorrel). Many Indian dishes use the tangy leaves extensively for chutneys and such, but the rest of the world apparently also uses the dark red calyces for syrups! 

 

A few overgrown spring onions and a lone garlic. The spring onion bulbs were still edible and the garlic was pulled out because the resident pest stamped all over it and bent the stalk. Plus I was very curious to see how much it had grown; this being the first time that I planted garlic!  


I also pulled out several stalks off my lemongrass bush. It had surprised me considerably in the spring by not only surviving the winter but also thriving splendidly!  The clump of bushes is providing a hiding nook for the rabbits who are viewing my little vulnerable patch like a 24/7 buffet. I cut away the outer leaves, trimmed each stalk to a manageable length. The picture above shows the stalks with the roots still attached, but I removed those and washed them clean before putting them in a ziploc and stowing them in the freezer. I still have about 2/3 of the bush to harvest. I am planning to use them in teas and lemonades, to flavor rice and also in curries. Since a little lemongrass goes a long way, I should have a nice supply for the coming months.


The above picture shows several seedlings of my holy basil. A traditional house in India is never without a holy basil plant. It is considered sacred there, being heavily used in religious ceremonies. It is also cultivated for its medicinal use.  The leaves are highly prized for their use in respiratory disorders, fevers and stress. A few months ago, it looked like I wouldn't have this wonder herb in my backyard for the first time in a decade.  But thankfully that was not to be. I plan to get a bigger container for these plants and nurture them into a big bush that I can move into the house during colder temperatures.

That's it for this week! 
For other amazing harvests, visit the Harvest Monday roundup at Our Happy Acres.

4 comments:

  1. I have tried several times to grow amaranth but the bugs always eat it up before I can. I love a good daal though and I bet yours is tasty with the amaranth in it! Do you use the holy basil for any cooking? I am growing it for tea and for the bees, but I've not used it in the kitchen much.

    Thanks for joining in Harvest Monday!

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Dave! Holy basil has always traditionally been used for herbal remedies. I have never had any Indian dishes with holy basil. The essential oils in this variety of basil are pretty strong, maybe thats why!

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  2. Some years my amaranth will self seeds other years nothing. My lemongrass never survive the winter, you winter must be much milder than mine.

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    1. I am in North Texas, Ms. Norma...winters here are definitely milder than yours! But since lemongrass is a tropical grass, I was skeptical about its survival! Thanks for commenting on my post!

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