Early Harvest: Radishes and Greens

Nothing beats fresh produce straight from the garden.  A lot of the crops Andrew and I plant on a yearly basis seem to take forever before you get to taste them.  Carrots, potatoes, onions, parsnips and squash are all ready late in the season and we tend to store these treats for months after they are picked.  These veggies are definitely worth the wait but sometimes I’m an impatient garden.

Oslicken Acre Radishes

Oslicken Acre Radishes

The short turn around time on radishes and greens are one of the reasons I love growing them.  Within a couple of weeks of planting radishes and greens they are on the table and ready to be eaten.

This year I planted Swiss chard for the first time.  It seems to be flourishing and we’ve already sampled some.  So far I’ve only been using the leaves, but I read somewhere that the crisp rib portion of the chard can be cooked and eaten as well.  More experiments will have to be done.

My parents used to grow radishes on a regular basis.  For whatever reason it hadn’t occurred to me to add these tasty morsels to the list of things Andrew and I plant.  So this year was the first year we’ve grown radishes at Oslicken Acres.  I’m enjoying them in salads and as uncooked veggie snacks in my lunch.

Perennial Veggies

I love the idea of perennial vegetables.  You plant them once and are rewarded with food year after year.  Perhaps the most well known perennial vegetable is rhubarb.  It grows in abundance, requires minimal maintenance, is almost impossible to kill, and can be made into a multitude of tasty treats.

We were lucky that Oslicken Acres came with three well established patches of rhubarb when we moved in.  The one patch had a trailer parked on it temporarily and it is still thriving. From this year’s harvest I’ve made rhubarb desert and rhubarb cake.  I’m hoping to try a rhubarb nut loaf in the next week or two.

Last year we started to plant additional perennial vegetables and created our own bed of asparagus.  I had no idea asparagus was a perennial plant until a friend mentioned it.  It was great to see the spears of asparagus poke out of the ground this year – and a relief that they survived the winter.  Since this is only the bed’s second year we haven’t been able to eat any of the tasty morsels yet but are anxiously looking forward to when the bed is mature enough to harvest.

After doing some reading I’m hoping to plant some wild leeks in the future – another tasty perennial treat that requires little upkeep.