The harvest season is picking up in my garden, and there is much to be pulled up and picked. On Monday I dug up 14 garlic bulbs to make way for the tomatoes. It's a bit early for a full garlic harvest, as only one leaf layer has dried and they haven't yet bloomed, but there are still lots more left. 'Shandong' is also an early variety of hardneck garlic that should be harvestable before July. I'm drying half the bulbs and storing the other half in the refrigerator to use fresh. Of course, it's hard to track how the garlic will be used, since I use it in just about everything. It's an essential ingredient in Asian, Middle Eastern, Italian, and French cuisines--all favorites. So chances are it will end up in a lot of things. Maybe a stir-fry, maybe some hummus, maybe a batch of arugula pesto?
Last night's harvest was 8oz of spinach and chard leaves, which went into an spicy Indian-style shrimp curry served with brown basmati rice. The particular varieties I planted were 'Bloomsdale Longstanding' and 'Fordhook', both of which are heirloom varieties that seem to be doing well. While harvesting I noticed that the spinach was already going to seed, but I pulled off the seedheads and am hoping I'll be able to harvest more soon. Most of my cool-weather greens are starting to go to seed, so I have to harvest bok choy, raab, and more arugular before it gets much hotter.
The radishes, too, are on the verge of bolting, and yesterday I also managed to pull at least half a pound. The bulbs were still quite piddly (presumably due to the heavy rains we had last week), so I am just using them for greens. I'm thinking about freezing some greens, since right now there's an over-abundance from the garden and our CSA. On a side note, the 'Sparkler' cultivar strikes me as too finicky for my garden, and I will likely not be planting more after this packet is done. It may be that they're a fast-growing, early season variety, better suited to cooler conditions with less rainfall. I had better results last year with the 'French Breakfast' radishes and might give one of the varieties our CSA offers as well.