Monday, June 23, 2014

What's in Season - Stir-fry Veggies

 Snow peas are one of my most favorite veggies to grow, mainly because there's so little work involved.  In early spring, all you do is scatter your seeds into a narrow band about 4-6 inches wide and 1 inch deep, put up some support (in my case, I used pruned branches) and then watch them grow.  By late spring, you're greeted with a prolific crop of edible pods, which will go on producing into early summer when the plants begin to fade.  Out of all my garden vegetables, the snow peas are the most popular among the kids for snacking while on the go (that is until the cherry tomatoes arrive).  It's fun to pick, sweetly mild tasting and crunchy.  And whatever the kids don't get to first, I pick for our weekday stir-fry dinners.

 I picked the rest of our garlic scapes, which are also tasty cooked in stir-fries or simply grilled.  Treat it like you would asparagus. It also lends some mighty garlic flavor to dressings and pesto.

Finally, I picked our first two crowns of broccoli.  Unlike cauliflower, broccoli is very much a reliable crop for us.  Just be sure to firm the soil around your seedlings well when transplanting them out as the plants tend to flop over easily under windy conditions.  I also start all of my brassicas from seed and avoid the commercial 6-packs of seedlings sold at garden centers, which are almost always root-bound and stressed (resulting in the plants bolting prematurely and certain failure).

To extend the harvest, I only grow varieties that produce plenty of side-shoots after the main crown has been picked.  Give the plants some protection and you'll be harvesting fall broccoli well into November here in New England. 

11 comments:

  1. Gorgeous scapes and huge broccoli! Sounds like you're about to have very yummy dinner.

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  2. Lovely harvests. My broccoli isn't ready yet. I'm still waiting. But like you I grow my own starts. This year I've decided to pull half the plants when they finish producing the main head and replace them with new starts. And the other half I'll leave for side shoots. Last year my side shoots were pretty pitiful. But the year before they were fabulous. So this year I'm hedging my bets.

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  3. Those peas are gorgeous & you have so many scapes...yes, I'm jealous - I don't have that much garlic this year, so my scapes are not as plentiful. I'm going to try growing broccoli for the 1st time this year as a fall crop - it's one of our favourites, even for the kids.

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  4. I love snow peas too and yours look delicious. Your broccoli heads are way better than mine, although around here broccoli does better in the fall than spring. It is another one of my favorite veggies, so I plant it in the spring anyway.

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  5. Delicious self-grown veggies are always great! :)

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  6. SWEET! I like using my scapes on my broccoli - making a garlic butter sauce to go on it. YUM. Snow peas are one of my kids favorites too. Sometimes its hard to get a harvest into the house before they are gone!

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  7. I love snow peas but our spring weather usually heats up too fast for them. We do have lots of garlic scapes though, and like you I like to add them to all kinds of dishes.

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  8. Beautiful harvest, you just reminded me to sow broccoli for fall.

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  9. Beautiful snow peas! I didn't get around to starting any this spring, although I did sow peas to harvest the shoots. I'm not sure which one I prefer, they're both delicious. You harvested some lovely heads of broccoli too. I agree, there's no point in growing broccoli if the plants don't produce side shoots. Which varieties of broccoli do you like?

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  10. I love snow peas too and often munch on them when I am puttering around the garden. I didn't grow any this year because of the late snow cover. I didn't think they would produce before the summer heat hit.

    Your garlic scapes look lovely! I should be harvesting mine any day now. Love the broccoli too.

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  11. Your garlic scapes do look great. I have just discovered them for the first time this year but I'm loving them. So far I've grilled them, added them to a pizza, sautéed them and had them in a pasta dish. They are so tasty.

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