Saturday, July 14, 2012

Harvesting Time is Here

Harvesting time is a busy time for gardeners. All the spring sown vegetables are ready to harvest. I was in the community garden this week and I see lots of peas waiting to be harvested. I have already harvested my peas twice. You can't wait until all the peas are large or you will end up with tough woody tasting peas and thats not a good thing. Pick your pods as they mature but don't leave them too long. Split one open and eat them raw to test them out. 

Shell them by splitting the pods open and use your thumb to send the peas into a small bowl. Add the pods to your compost or to the composters at the community garden.

Peas can be frozen on cookie sheets and then placed into a freezer bags for longer storage. From my little patch in the children's garden I have already frozen a kilogram of peas.

I think I am the only person growing broad beans this year. I would give them a try. They are planted early in March and are so easy to grow. Above is a photo of my broad beans just cooked. What I do is cook the broad beans for five minutes in boiling water, then I place them in ice water to cool. I add them to salads but they can be used in many dishes. They never last long enough for me to do anything fancy with them. They are a good source of protein as well.

Have you harvested your lettuce yet? If it looks like its getting taller its because its starting to bolt. Bolting happens when vegetables react to the longer days and warmer temperatures. The plant tells itself it needs to produce seed to reproduce and then it dies. The warm weather will make lettuce taste bitter so harvest as soon as you can. If you planted lettuce that was open pollinated, you could collect seed from your plants. Check your seed package to see if you can do this. If it is a hybrid, you will not get seed that grows the same as your parent plant.

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