A self-sufficient lifestyle is never ending in 'things to do'. The above bowl I harvested early Saturday morning. It contains parsley, Tender-crisp celery, two types of kale: Blue Curled Scotch and Russian Red, and Early Sprouting broccoli.
One part to our lifestyle is a continuous circle of planting, harvesting, and preserving foods. As I was harvesting the parsley and the celery, I was thinking how we are just coming out of the winter, and here I am gathering the parsley and celery to be used during this coming fall and winter of 2009. Both of these items I will dehydrate for use in soups, and chowders, as well as pasta salads or potato salad.
I find the celery leaves are much stronger in flavor than the stalks. I actually like them better for flavoring dishes that call for celery. The stalks are in the small growth stage right now. I will blanch them and freeze what I have harvested now, for later use. The last few months, I have been using the dehydrated celery leaves very sparingly, as I was almost out of them.
The kale we will eat this week, either mixed with potatoes, onions, and maybe a garlic sauce, or I could chop it and drop it into a soup. We prefer the Blue Curled Scotch kale for taste over Russian Red for eating raw. The Russian Red has a bit more spice in flavor to us.
This broccoli, is a springtime surprise. In our growing trials from last fall, it was in the same planted group of the Brunswick cabbage and Purple Sicily cauliflower (which were harvested here and here).
I am very amazed at how it has come through our cold and snowy winter. Of course, we do not have winters like the upper mid-west, but still, I am just amazed at the possibility of having fresh broccoli at Easter time. This item will be on our fall planting list for sure.
All the seeds for these vegetables came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, (you can find the link on my side bar under 'Visited Websites'), or here.
Enjoy the day!