Early spring means late spring in the greenhouses. And late spring in the greenhouses means it’s probably time to evict the winter residents. I’m moving through second, third and even fourth harvests from the greenhouse beds while on the way to pulling them up altogether. I’m feeling a bit of pressure to stop, drop and eat! It’s time, you see, to transfer the tomatoes and peppers to nursery hot beds.
So, we’re on a green binge.
Especially now that the new push of growth has begun, I look, eagerly, for sprouts and leaves. And nearly everything is fair game. This is the time of year to eat what you could never find at your grocer’s, or even at a farmer’s market. Order up!
Self-seeded beets: 1. fleshy leaves, 2. the roots are bound for quick lacto-fermented pickles
Kales: Lacinato 1. broccoli-like blossoms, 2. leaves, and 3. peeled stems, great for stir-fry! and Red (Russian) kale 1. broccoli-like blossoms, 2. juicy, salad-bound leaves
Kohlrabi: 1. the root of course but 2. the leaves, like all of the brassica family, are quite edible.
Cabbage: 1. De-headed, I leave some leaves attached to the rooted stem. In a few weeks, I get 2. a leafy second harvest (shown above).
Carrots: 1. Roots of course but 2. did you know you can eat the ferny leaves too?
The flowers of arugula and mache now grace some salads
And I am not above eating the roots of plants that are arguably grown for other purposes. Parsley and celery fit this bill. They require a bit of scrubbing but they taste just like celeriac, the fat root of the family.
Goddamit look at your carrots!!!! I can’t get a single one to grow this year. I’m putting it down to ‘old seeds’… any top tips, O Guru?
Hah, Den! Carrots like it kind of cold…or rather they need a long time in the cold, damp ground before they sprout. So I grow them under burlap sacks that I’ve wetted down completely. Alternatively, you can sprout them under a piece of cardboard (just so long as you weigh it down or it’ll blow away). In about 10-20 days there should be little grass-like sprouts…check them often though!
I’m not so sure about carrot tops. Carrot tops contain alkaloids, whose affects include slightly elevated alertness, as well as slightly elevated heart rates and blood pressure to very elevated heart rates and blood pressure, to death, if enough is ingested. Carrots belong to the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family, which include, among other edibles, angelica, anise, caraway, celery, chervil, cicely, coriander/cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel, lovage, parsley and parsnip. It also includes Queen Anne’s Lace, and the not so edible poison hemlock and water hemlock. It’s possible that cooking them does something to the alkaloids- I don’t know, but I think that with this family, I’d rather stick to the parts of the plants that centuries of other people’s experiments have deemed edible and safe. But it’s everyone’s call for themselves, of course.
Sounds like a stir fry lovers dream land.:) I was excited to hear about your garden and greenhouse expansion plans…your going to be very busy this year. Hope you have a terrific gardening season.
Such wonderful harvest, still, again, always!
I wonder if different carrot cultivars have different tasts. I tried some a while back, and I did not like them at all. BLAH! (and I do not like to waste so it has be unpleasant for me not to eat them). Have you tried them? did you like them? what cultivar was it?
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