Harvest Monday January 31, 2011

It’s past midnight, so technically this isn’t Monday anymore. I just finished filing my column for the newspaper, so this is when I have time to do my blog post. Who needs sleep?

Meyer lemon

I spent some time weeding the Garden of Infinite Neglect and the Garden of Perpetual Responsibility (GPR). Naturally, I didn’t get done with the GPR.  I also added some dirt to the Smart Pot in which I’m growing a third crop of potatoes. I find that I can get two crops a year in the Smart Pots, about 3 lbs of potatoes per large pot. I harvest the potatoes, add fertilizer, and plant another batch of spuds from whatever potatoes have sprouted in my potato bin.

My first harvest of homegrown ginger, about four ounces.

Good news is that I actually have a harvest to post this week, including the first of my ginger crop. I’m really proud to have grown my own ginger. I left some in the pot to grow more for next year.

Home grown yams all washed and ready for baking.

I also used more of my homegrown yams. They are so tender it’s amazing. No strings, and the skins are so thin that I can eat them. The photo above is an optical illusion. They look large, but it took three of those little yams to make a serving. I served the yams with pork tenderloin roasted in a citrus-soy-ginger marinade. I modified the recipe from one in this February’s Sunset magazine. Here it is.

Pork tenderloins roasted in a citrus-soy-ginger sauce.

Roasted Pork with Citrus-Soy-Ginger Sauce

3 T mirin (sweet Japanese wine)

3/4 C chicken buillion

juice and zest from 1 Meyer lemon

juice and zest from half a grapefruit

1 T grated fresh ginger

7 T soy sauce

Mix ingredients. Reserve 3/4 C of the sauce and pour remainder over two pork tenderlions (2.5 lbs) in a pan. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for an hour.

Mix the reserved sauce with 3/4 C brown sugar and bring to a boil.

Using a baster, remove citrus sauce from the roasting pan and set aside.  Pour hot sugar-sauce mix over the pork. Return pork to the oven and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Slice the pork and drizzle a bit of the citrus sauce over it.

On to the harvest.

4.5 oz. Lemon, Meyer

4.5 oz. Ginger

Total produce 9 oz. plus 5 eggs

If you were lucky enough to have a harvest this week, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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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10 Responses to Harvest Monday January 31, 2011

  1. Ali says:

    Everything looks delicious. I’ve now managed to kill two Meyer lemon trees. I love them, but just can’t seem t grow them inside, so I am drooling over yours. The ginger looks great! Will you share details? It might be fun to try here. If winter ever ends.

    • Ali, I think ginger might be a houseplant where you live. You just get some ginger from the grocery store (organic is best so it won’t have any anti-sprouting chemicals), put it sideways in a 12-inch pot with ordinary potting soil, and keep it moist but not soggy. The roots will grow down and multiple green shoots will come up from every bump on the ginger tuber. They make a palm-like plant. Mine only grew about 18 inches tall. The plant needs warmth, so keep it indoors if you start the plant in March. Put it outside in summer, and bring it back in when the weather cools. When the tops die back in November or December, pull up the roots. Save some to replant in February or March. I actually harvested a bit in the summer because I needed it for a recipe. I just dug down and cut off an inch of the tuber. The tubers grow sideways. Good luck.

  2. Daphne Gould says:

    I keep wondering if I can grow ginger here. I’m guessing not. Our season is way too short and cold. I love ginger so much though and would love to try it some day.

  3. I like that harvest! I’ve always intended on growing some good hands of ginger but have never made it past the ‘looks like bamboo’ shoot stage. Also, nice lemon.

    • Ottawa, I just had comments from Daphne and Ali about growing ginger. I suggested starting it indoors, moving it outside when the weather warms, then bringing it back inside in the fall. Can’t hurt to try.

  4. Barbara says:

    Can you really eat the skin of your yams? They must be tender indeed. Is there some particular variety you recommend? I wonder how you do all that great gardening and cooking plus your column and teaching!

    • Barbara, I go without sleep, that’s how I do it. I’m running on empty right now as I’m involved in a major battle over a restoration project that is cock-eyed, expensive, and doomed to fail. Anyway, yes, the yams are the most tender I’ve ever eaten. I think that must mean that I harvested them too early. I don’t know what kind they were because I just planted a sprouted yam that I got from farmer’s market. I would guess by looking that it was Garnet or Vardemann.

  5. Jane says:

    That’s so cool that you grow potatoes in smartpots too! It so easy to grow them that way. You’re so lucky you can get 2 crops!! That’s great that you were able to grow ginger in your climate zone. I grow it here but culinary ginger and Hawaii are made for each other so it’s way too easy. The yams look wonderful too!

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