Harvest Monday, July 12, 2010

One day's harvest of Panamint nectarines.

It’s been a quiet week in the garden. Henrietta is finished with her molt and is laying eggs again. Chicken Little hasn’t molted and is still laying reliably. Henny Penny manages to lay an egg once in a while that isn’t too thin to survive her big feet, but most of her eggs are still being broken. Today she laid her egg on the table (yes, my hens have furniture in their coop–they’re so spoiled) that holds their watering containers. Fortunately, I got to it before it rolled off the edge or got stepped on. Bottom line is that we got 13 eggs this week.

Three of our granddaughters came to visit yesterday, the twins Allison and Lauren (4) and Megan (2). They fed their leftover french fries and bread crusts to the chickens, who happily gobbled them up.

Spent brewers grain (barley) in my compost bin.

The chickens are getting yet another taste treat. The Huntington Beach Brewery, a micro-brewery downtown–gives away its spent brew grain to people who compost. I put some in my compost pile–really heats it up–and feed a handful each to the hens. It’s nice cracked barley, all cooked and warm. They love it. The grain is a byproduct of beer making, and gets discarded before the yeast is added for the fermentation step. Because barley is lower in protein than wheat, I wouldn’t give it to them as a constant diet, but it makes a nice (and free) feed supplement. It really gets my compost bin heated up and fermenting nicely too. And the more gardeners who take the grain, the less grain that goes to landfills. I’m doing myself and the environment a favor by taking a 25-lb bucket of grain from every brew batch. SWEET!

I often get just enough blackberries and blueberries for one bowl of cereal. But what a bowl!

Here’s the harvest for this week, which is mostly nectarines. There are still some on the tree. I need to figure out what the heck to do with all these nectarines. Any ideas? They’re not supposed to freeze well.

FRUIT

0.5 oz. blackberries

3 oz. blueberries

4 lbs, 4.5 oz. nectarines, Panamint

Subtotal fruit 4 lbs 8 oz.

VEGETABLES

4 oz. tomatoes, Better Boy

0.5 oz. herbs

Subtotal 4.5 oz. vegetables

TOTAL  4 lbs 12.5 oz. produce plus 13 eggs

If you had a harvest, visit Daphne’s Dandelions and make a post on Mr. Linky so we can all enjoy your harvest vicariously.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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9 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 12, 2010

  1. Turling says:

    Very nice. When visiting my sister who is still in Huntington Beach, I’ll have to swing by and get myself a bag. Do they supply the bags, or is it bring your own? I’ll also have to get some of those beer battered french fries. Yum.

    • Hi Turling, getting the spent brewers grain isn’t as easy as just dropping by. They only brew about every 4-5 days, and you have to be there when they are discarding the grain. I was 40 minutes late this morning and it was all gone. Other gardeners had picked it all up, about 500 lbs. I was thrilled that my newspaper column had peaked so much interest, but disappointed that I was out of luck. You have to bring your own 5-gallon bucket. If you want to get onto the email list of when the grain is available, send an email to John Manning at HBpapajohn@gmail.com and he’ll send you an email about when it’s available.

  2. kitsapFG says:

    I love fresh berries on cereal! I am just starting to get an occassional raspberry ripening – looking forward to some fresh berries on my morning cereal soon.

  3. Daphne says:

    Yup peaches. I’d make nectarine cobbler and ice cream. I wonder how nectarine sorbet would taste? I’d can them sliced. Nectarine jam? I only wish I had a bounty of nectarines or peaches.

    • Daphne and Lori, I took your advice and made up something I’m calling Nectarine Crumble, kind of like a modified crisp. I want to try one more version to test a tweak to the recipe and I’ll post it. I just harvested the last of my nectarines today, so I should be able to make it one more time.

  4. I agree with Daphne, make cobbler, or a crisp. You could freeze either of those already made. Your berries on the cereal look great! Such a great slice of summ.
    ~~Lori

  5. thyme2garden says:

    I’m coveting your nectarines. I bought a couple from the grocery store this week, and they were mealy and not very sweet. Eek.

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