Harvest Time and the Prodigal Wife

Well, it has been over a month since I last saw my wife. I have been travelling off and on myself, of course, but she has been away on extended travel for nearly 5 weeks now. As I write this, though, she is about 24 hours away from walking through the front door again and things can get back to normal on the domestic front. I have been insanely bored with nobody to talk to but the cats, and she is more than ready for some good food, her kitties, her own bed and, one hopes, her own husband.

Her return, thank goodness, will be just in time to harvest our produce from the Community Greenhouse as it is getting cold out now and everything will have to come up really soon or be in danger of frostbite. Sadly, however, the yield this year was about the worst we have had so far crop-wise, and this is true of the whole greenhouse, not just our little plot. Likely the weather has had something to do with it, but, in our case, our absences have contributed to the disappointing results. The plants got watered even when neither of us were in town to do it, but our travels have left little time for other things like weeding, thinning or pruning. Still, it has not been a total loss and I will still have some nice fresh produce to play with in the kitchen…

Our Daikon didn’t do too badly, although none are as big as in last year’s crop. We have a couple of dozen plants and my wife will be using both the roots and the greens of some of them to make Kimchi. I will be using them in quite a few different dishes, but I am especially looking forward to making a steamed cake that is very popular in dim sum restaurants.  You can see one variety called ‘Turnip Cake’ in my review of the Hung Sum restaurant I did a while ago. I will be making the same thing, more or less, but I like my version better.

This interesting plant is called Perilla, but is also widely known as ‘Shiso’. It comes in a red and green variety, but so far I have only encountered the latter kind, most often as a garnish in Japanese restaurants. I can’t wait to see what I can do with it once we get it home…

The Swiss Chard isn’t wildly exciting. Last year we had tons and tons of the stuff… I think we may only get a couple of meals of our upcoming harvest but it looks quite nice.

One of our plants ‘bolted’ … I have no idea what this flower is, and indeed, there are quite a few items, mostly straggly and sparse, that I can’t identify at all. Possibly we can have a mixed salad with all that stuff…

This last item is my favorite. When I wrote my post on Pickled Mustard Greens, I was under the impression that my wife was unable to find seeds to grow any mustard herself so that I could try pickling it. Indeed, when these plants first came up, I thought they were Baby Bok Choy and I was very pleased to discover that they are, in fact, Mustard greens. I would like to be able to use some fresh for cooking but there are only a few plants so they may all end up getting pickled.

Anyway…. Actual harvesting will only take place in the next week or so, but posts on recipes and experiments will follow shortly thereafter…

13 thoughts on “Harvest Time and the Prodigal Wife”

    1. We are hoping to do some herbs here in our new house too… Unfortunately, the light isn’t that great here so I expect things like rosemary etc won’t work 😦

  1. Your garden faired far better than mine, and I am considerably south of you. It was too rainy and everything was just small or just simply drowned …

  2. Five weeks is a very long time! I am sure she is as ready to get home as you are to see her arrive! And your greenhouse produce is beautiful. I never thought of a community greenhouse garden. What a great arrangement. I hope you have a wonderful week. I think you will! 🙂

  3. Still good job with the little garden plot! I have a black thumb and I can’t grow anything more at home than a potted basil or aloe plant.

    Have you ever tried kohl rabi? It might be worth thinking about. So you get your supply of basil cheaply or you don’t cook with fresh basil?

    1. Basil appears occasionally in our stores. We grew it in an indoor window box in our last house and it did better than other herbs. We’ll try it again. It will be a good 8 months before the greenhouse will be up again but Kohlrabi is an interesting suggestion.

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