Organic Gardening & Farming, Plants

Seasonal Eats for Late Spring

I planted my earliest spring crops on May 2 this year. Many crops could have been planted much earlier than that date, if only their new raised beds had been completed earlier. Things being as they are, I harvested my first kale exactly one month later, on June 2, and it was the most delicious kale I’ve eaten since the last time I grew kale.

Russian Red Kale, freshly harvested

I harvest Kale in the “cut and come again” style, cutting off select bottom leaves from each plant and leaving the center stalk with young leaves untouched. This allows the plants to keep growing and producing new leaves for me to eat later, until the summer heat puts an end to it.

Radishes have just started to bulb up, and I’ve harvested a few small roots. Radish greens are abundant though, and since I didn’t space the radish seeds very carefully, I’ve harvested plenty of radish greens as a result of thinning out the plants. Many people don’t know that radish greens are edible, but they’re a nutritious and delicious pot herb (pot herb means that you cook them, opposed to eating them raw in a salad).

Since my garden is small this year, I’ve been rounding out my harvests with some choice edible weeds. Lambsquarters are abundant right now, and I tried them for the first time a couple weeks ago. They have become a favorite! I’ve made them into a dish similar to creole creamed spinach, and I’ve sauteed them with garlic and other greens. They’re similar to spinach in flavor and nutrition.

Lambsquarter plant

Dandelion greens, dandelion flowers, and violet greens are some other wild greens I’ve been adding to my harvests. Until this year, I did not realize how large violet leaves can grow. They’re delicious raw or cooked, and so are violet flowers.

Violet Greens
Violet greens that grew to giant proportions! Human hand shown for scale.

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