Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trying Something New

Kohlrabi was one of my gardening experiments this summer.  I had never grown or tasted it before.  I grew Purple Vienna kohlrabi, having received seeds as a gift from my friend, Sharon, in Manitoba.  

Two were big enough to harvest today (about 2 inches across).  I took a knife outside with me, thinking it would be similar to harvesting cabbage.  Not so. The main stem is as big around as my index finger and tough - I couldn't cut it with a knife.  The root system is also surprisingly large.  After a few heave-ho's, they finally came out of the ground.

When I told R. I couldn't cut the stem with a large knife, he said he had an idea, then disappeared into the house.  He emerged with one of his more interesting sharp objects (he is a gamer), a small throwing axe.  Very Lord of The Rings.  It sure did the trick!

Karl decided to check out the kohlrabi when I set it down on the rock...

I brought it inside, stored one in the fridge, and peeled and sliced the other.  It has the smell and taste of mild turnip, and is a pale cream colour - light green just under the skin.  I love the texture. It is crispy and gives a satisfying snap when you bite into it.  It would taste nice with a sour cream and herb dip.  Baked would be nice, too.  I think that would mellow the flavour somewhat and make it even sweeter.

The crab apple tree has produced an abundance of round, healthy-looking apples this year, thanks to all the rain.  We usually give the apples away to people who make preserves, as we don't process them ourselves. 

The last two green cabbage.  I harvested them small to save them from the worms.  One more cabbage casserole, coming up! 

A very large spider that has set up digs between the compost bins in the back yard.  R. snapped this picture.  The body is as large as the top segment of my thumb.  *shudder*  I am so glad he spotted it first and mentioned it.  Discovering it myself when going to compost kitchen scraps early in the morning would have been ugly.


A few yellow cherry and Cole tomatoes, picked this morning.  They are just starting to ripen.  A few were eaten fresh, and the rest went into the slow cooker with some Italian sausage and onions. 

I have discovered over the last few weeks that several of the tomatoes I've planted are not what - or where - I thought they were.  The raised bed in the driveway had, I believed, three Cole and three yellow cherry tomato plants.  They are indeterminate, so I could not understand why they were so crowded and sprawling.  Then I spotted some small pointy tomatoes in the bunch.  Uh-oh... Opalka paste tomatoes.  Two of these are among the cherries and Coles.  They were never pinched off or trained up a stake, so they are currently climbing over the other plants, squashing them.   Trying to stake them now would result in several of the branches snapping.  Hmm.  Either I walked in my sleep this past Spring and swapped the labels on my seedlings for subconscious giggles, or else things were mixed up when I "potted up" the seedlings.  In any case, next year I will grow fewer varieties and label them with permanent marker!

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