Harvest Monday: 8/27/2012 Summer veggies have started

It was busy week. Between long hours at work, summer camps for kids, a camping trip; I did not spend much time in garden. There were few bare spots, seeded them with dill , fenugreek and some chard seeds. New seeds did not get water for 2 days as we were out, I am not seeing any germination. It was sunny and dry so I hope seeds will eventually germinate…

Wax Beans,  2 dried peas (will use as seeds next year) and radish pods

Wax beans

Few friends were over and they picked 3 gallon bags of green Sorrel, no pictures.
Over the weekend, I picked Wax beans and radish pods. I made radish pods curry.

Harvest Summery for the week:
Green Sorrel – 3 bunches
Wax Beans – (19)
Radish pods – 45


Harvest Monday: 8/20/2012 Peas and Greens

We are enjoying 2 weeks of summer here in NW. Temperatures are moving to 80s for past several days and everyone’s loving the warmth of the bright sun.

Blueberries and Strawberries

On Monday, I picked very last of the strawberries. Everything in the patch is picked over, there are few left for the critters. Every year, last of the strawberries look smaller, more angular. I am thinking that few of the strawberry plants are of the wild or alpine types, which yield late smaller berries. No complains here, it’s always nice to get strawberry harvest extended over many weeks.

Along with strawberries, few of the plump blueberries were picked. Berries got used in shake the same week.


Dill Greens – Shepu

This Wednesday I picked lots of greens, dill greens and Methi. I made shepu bhaji (dill greens) with moong daal.

Fenugreek – Methi

Methi leaves were used in Methi Thepala. No pictures here.. I’ll remember to take some pictures of the prepared meals, what fun it’ll be to see harvests into use.

Alaska Peas and Radish 

Peas and radish were picked too along with the greens.

Vine Dried Peas (shall use as seeds next year) and Shelled Alaska Peas

On Saturday, came the big harvest of peas. I picked a basket full of peas. Took me an hour to shell the peas, my kids and husband took no time eating raw peas as I was shelling them. This above photo is what’s left of it. Few of the peas were dried by the time I picked them, I’ll re-plant these next year. Not sure if it’ll germinate. We’ll see…

Harvest Summary for this week: 
Strawberries, alpine/wild: 24
Blueberries: 34
Peas: 1 bowl full
Methi (Fenugreek): 2 bunches
Shepu (dill): 1 bunch

Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Monday: 8/13/2012

Summer Olympics, work and kids have been priority for last couple weeks, priority not necessarily in same order J. Gardening has been neglected for some time and its starting to show in form of plants in need of watering, slug holes in cabbage plants etc. I have to get my act together this weekend and invest some time in fixing up plants, fertilize, sluggo and watering.

Although I have been neglecting it, garden is enjoying warmth of the summer, slowly getting in giving mode.

I picked last of the lingering raspberries earlier in the week along with some blueberries. These were thrown into protein shake next morning.

Potato plant (yes, there’s only 1) was being enjoyed by slugs nightly. Since potatoes were done flowering, I could see early fruit set. Being impatient, I dug up lonely potato plant. Single plant produced these tubers, not bad at all.
This year I had big plans to grow potatoes, plan was on track until my DH decided to clean pantry one afternoon in March. I had been saving seed potatoes (organic, no-spray Yukon Gold and Red, about 8-10 in count) in pantry, little sprouts had formed, in a week or two they would be in ground. DH thought that I have been neglecting to clean up and he threw out the entire lot. I lost all interest in growing potatoes for year. To my luck, 2 volunteer potatoes came up in mid-April from exact spot I grew them last year.  Last week I got 2 medium Yukon gold and this week it’s all red potatoes. Well, I am not entirely sad.

blueberries, wax beans and radish pods

On Thursday, I picked first of the wax beans, blueberries and radish pods (moogori or Mugori, mulyachya shenga)

Harvest Summary for this week: 
Potatoes, red: 4 medium and 10 small
Blueberries: 54
Radish Pods (Mugori, mulyachya shenga):  enough to make 4 servings
Wax Beans: (Ed Hume Seeds) 5
Raspberries: 10

Happy Gardening!!

How to Save Chive Seeds

I have a small Chives patch growing in 2 places in my backyard. I grew fond of this versatile herb over last few years. I have been using it to garnish, flavor many recipes.  Chives are usually very first thing that produce in any season, it is cut and re-grow, so keeps producing till frost nips it. Chives is handy herb, it is perennial and starts growing around February March here in NW. Chives are first sign of growing season and usually is first harvest of every season for me.

Chives start growing in February, flower during April and dry out with summer heat in June July.
This year I am trying to save seeds for many seeds, Chives are one of them. Here is photo journey of saving Chive Seeds.

Chives starting to grow in early Spring.

Chives Blossom in purple-pink in spring (and throughout summer if cut-regrow).  Above picture is of chives in bloom.

These flowers fade to pale brown and start to dry out.

Wait till stem of the flower starts to turn brown.  If stem looks green like above picture, seeds are not completely dry. Below picture has dried flower with seeds. Don’t wait much longer as these seeds will start to disperse by wind soon.

Dried flower has green-brown stem and black seeds are showing. Cut the stems and rub the flowers to retrieve seeds.

Store in dry place.

Happy Gardening!

Harvest Monday: 8/6/2012

Green Sorrel and Dill greens

Green is slowly replacing Red from Harvest pictures, a good sign. This week we picked Chuka (Green Sorrel) , Shepu(young dill greens) and some Alaska Peas.

Here is a picture of Shepu and Sorrel before cutting.

A volunteer potato plant looked sickly and dying. I pulled it out, found small potatoes.

Harvest Summary for week:

Shepu (Dill Greens): 1 bunch
Chuka: (Green Sorrel): 1 bunch
Potatoes, Yukon Gold: 3 small
Peas, Alaska: 22


Sweet and Tart, Huckleberries are darn tasty. It is August in Washington State and if you are a hiker like me then you know it’s that time!! It is time that wild berries start to plump up and ripen.
Huckleberries are abundant on ridges, slopes and along the hike trails. I am particularly finding Red Huckleberries in plenty.

Last weekend I hiked on weekends – Saturday took me to Talus loop on big Mount Si and Sunday to the usual Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain. Both hikes had plentiful berries along the paths. We feasted on the Red Huckleberries, it was so much fun. We had kids with us on the Poo Poo Point and it was amazing experience teaching kids about edible vs Non-edible berries, identifying Red Huckleberries. Kids and their parents had so much fun enjoying this sweet tart juicy berries. I can’t wait for it to ripen up more in my future hikes.

Out of curiosity, I looked up its botanical name. Vaccinium parvifolium.

Pardon my camera, here’s best picture of huckleberry plant. Look for plant with smallish round-oval leaves, no thorns and red berries. These will turn purple-blue when ripe. People/birds/bears scoop it up when red, I am yet to taste ripe blue-purple berry, I guess I have to go deep off hiking trail for this…

After feasting on multiple handfuls, this is what I brought home.

There are so many edible berries in our mountains of Pacific NW. I’ll take some pictures and write up more in coming weeks.

This is view of Eastside of Seattle, Lake Sammamish from atop Poo Poo Point. (and yes, this is Summer, in July here. Now you know all the complaining about weather)

More Pictures from Talus Loop on Big Mount Si.