Chiogga beets on the left and Cylindra beets on the right
I just harvested my beets I planted in the spring and got 13 lbs! I grew two heirloom varieties- Cylindra and Chiogga.
The Cylindra beet is originally from Denmark although the seeds are available in the states as well. They are a rather long, sweet buttery beet which is great when sliced. It is a dark red and actually grows a little out of the soil so they are easy to see when they are ready for harvest. One of my favorite varieties of beets.
The Chiogga (pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh) is an Italian heirloom that was establish in the 1840s. It is a round beet that has beautiful pink and white concentric stripes inside and the flavor is sweet as well-another favorite of mine.
I’m going to start more from seed for a fall harvest. Anybody got some great recipes for beets?
Wait a few more days before removing row covers
I don’t know about you but I’m anxious about taking off the row covers from our tomatoes. I’m tired of waiting! I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting for this HOT HOT weather to leave and even though we’ve had some rain, it is not coming from Mexico and hence it is NOT the monsoons so we get some rain and then the heat comes on again. Today is still hot and then the temperatures are suppose to drop off dramatically over the next week. Could this be the beginning of a late monsoon season? I hope so. Meanwhile I had decided to take them off on this coming Monday and was sitting on the picnic table in the garden and saw the dreaded leafhopper jump on my computer (thank god it can’t give my computer a virus)! So now I am still waiting a few more days till the rain is consistent and the intense heat leaves us (which is what the leafhopper loves). So if you haven’t taken them off (and I hope not yet) then leave them on a few more days till these monsoons really come in. BLAH! I will post when I take off the covers-just not yet… WAAA!
If you live in the Northwest, you probably heard of Salmonberries but I have not heard of them here in Santa Fe. My neighbor has a Salmonberry bush that produced heavily this year and I got some.
At first I thought it was a gold raspberry but it is not. It’s a beautiful berry similar to a raspberry but more delicate in flavor and is gold-salmon-pinkish color.
The salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis is native to the US Northwest moist coastal regions and some parts of Europe. I wouldn’t think they would thrive in our drier conditions and yet here is one and it is not in a wet area. Traditionally, the berries were eaten by Native Americans with salmon or salmon roe, hence the name. It is sometimes called the Joffelberry as well. What a wonderful treat! They don’t freeze well so we just gobbled them all up!
I grew leeks for the first time last fall and didn’t harvest them before the seed heads formed about a month ago. I read they are too woody at that stage and I can leave them to flower. If I do this, I’ll have many volunteers next year. Well that sounded good so I let them go.
The flower is gorgeous and attracts many beneficial bugs. Glad I left them in…
It’s apricot season and I’ve been picking lots! It’s unusual to get apricots here in Santa Fe (about every 7 years for me) as usually a late freeze comes in spring and freezes all the blossoms, but not this year!
I have a wonderful apricot jam recipe that has St. Germain’s liquor in it. St Germain’s is a liquor made out of elderberries and is delicious by itself but when added to apricot jam while cooking, it gives a wonderful floral nuance to the jam that is delicious. So I am excited to make more this year as I’m down to my last jar of apricot jam. The recipe can be found here.
Wow, what a fruit season it’s been so far-first mega strawberries, then thousands of cherries, now apricots and my neighbor has salmonberries now and coming up right behind will be raspberries and blackberries in another month and then apples in the fall.
AND we haven’t even gotten to the veggies being produced right now but that’s for another post!
My friend, Bob Z has an abundance of Bing cherries on his tree this year. I went by yesterday and helped pick some. Anybody who knows Bob, call him if you want to go pick cherries-pick some for yourself.
I took home 6 lbs of cherries. I use to use a cherry pitter that you did one at a time but a few years ago I got a new NORPRO Deluxe Cherry Pitter that makes it much easier and faster to pit cherries. It took less than 10 minutes to do 3 lbs! Above is a video of it in action.