Harvest Monday, January 28, 2013 – Window Box Update

DSC04770weblargeI had a harvest last week. A teeny weeny head (if one can call it a head) of oakleaf lettuce from my windowbox. I could have had 4 heads if only I had harvested the week before. But I was pushing the envelope to see how far I could go.

Notice how the leaves are yellow instead of green? That’s because of lack of light in the garage.

After harvesting from the windowboxes mid December (see 12/17/12 post) I needed to know how the 3 diferent lettuce varieties would perform, rather survive, if at all, during January/February. See photo below for results.

DSC04765weblargeAs you can see from the above photo
Cimmaron Lettuce (center box) and Forellenschluss Lettuce (bottom box) did not make it.
Four of the five Oakleaf Lettuce (top box) were still looking good the week of 1/14. Decided to wait another week, 3 started to wilted, leaving only one.

Harvested the lone surviving oakleaf on 1/24/13 and added it to my Adzuki Bean Sprouts Salad that I posted on Saturday, 1/26 (If you look really closely at the salad you can see the oakleaf lettuce).

Of course if I had the windowboxes under grow light all the lettuces would survive, looking healthy and green. But with the cost of electricity, I don’t think that would be cost effective.

So this is my last lettuces in windowbox post, thus ending my experiment.

DSC04767weblargeCarrots are still happy, above photo.
Did lose a few plants though. Wonder how long the remaining plants will last in the garage and if anything is happening underground.

DSC04773weblargeThe radicchio in the photo, at left, was harvested on 11/26/12. I wanted to see how long it would keep in the refrigerator so did the following:

Removed all the blemished outer leaves
Made sure the head was clean and dry to the touch
Wrapped it in clean paper towel and placed it in a plastic bag
 Wrote date on plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator
Checked periodically for spoilage and replaced paper towel if it was wet.

As you can see from the photo, above left, it is still looking pretty. Used it in my Adzuki Bean Sprouts Salad. That’s 2 months since I harvested it. Happy to report it was still crunchy and delicious.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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36 Responses to Harvest Monday, January 28, 2013 – Window Box Update

  1. leduesorelle says:

    I had some heads of radicchio from the farmers’ market bought back in October, and stored in the fridge in a covered bin. I was surprised to find how well they stored, at least 3 months when we ate the last one. Thanks for sharing your lettuce growing experiments!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Leuesorelle,
      Good to know that the radicchio can keep for up to 3 months. I think it is because they were freshly harvested. I noticed roots on the core of one of mine so I stuck it in some potting mix and it is sprouting. Will see if it will grow into anything usable.

  2. kitsapfg says:

    It is always interesting to try out ideas and then note the results. Sometimes a mere adjustment in what you are doing makes the results turn out much better – perhaps if you took the windowbox lettuces out for some afternoon sun periodically (infrequently) – they might do better?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Laura,
      I did take the windowboxes out on warm, sunny days, but we had a few snow days and it has been bitterly cold day and night also very windy on many days, not at all lettuce friendly.

  3. I really enjoy your experiments.. it’s interesting to see the results. Would light through a window work? Also, I wrap regular store-bought lettuce this way and it seems to last much much longer. Do you do that as well? xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      Thanks, I find the experiments interesting and enjoy the excercise.
      Yes, light through a bright sunny window would work except I do not have many bright sunny windows.
      If not using within a day or 2, I will wrap most of my veggies that way, store bought or home grown, they do last longer.

  4. Barbie says:

    That raddichio sounds like a winner. Will you concentrate on growing more of that for starage then, or try more lettuce in the boxes next year?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      I am definitely going to try more lettuce in boxes this spring and fall. Also going to try transplanting some of the radicchio plants from the garden into windowbox during the fall just to see how they will grow.

  5. Kristy says:

    I am amazed the raddichio is lasting so long! Two months is pretty amazing. Also pretty cool that you harvested lettuce in mid-winter. I’d say that was a successful experiment, even if only one made it through.

  6. The radicchio is so gorgeous!

  7. I am very happy your harvest is going well my friend, especially for the radicchio – first time I have heard of it 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Hi Norma, you had your almost microgreens harvest so overpriced in restaurants! Oak leaf is beautiful!

  9. I like the look of that lettuce!

  10. Daphne says:

    I love things that keep a long time. It is something “fresh” for winter. I wish my cabbages had kept better.

  11. Ginny says:

    I’ve enjoyed following your “lettuce growing experient” (and am envious of your fresh, homegrown produce in your salads, soups and other dishes this winter). I’ll have to try growing some Oak Leaf Lettuce this coming spring/summer… (On a snowy day like this, we can think spring and look forward to planting some veggies, can’t we?)

  12. Juliana says:

    Wow, amazing how the radicchio stayed good for so long…and thank you so much for sharing all your window experiments planting all kind of lettuces.
    Have a great week Norma!

  13. Lrong says:

    Good looking radicchio you have there…

  14. hotlyspiced says:

    Good on you Norma for growing your own produce even if the leaves end up turning a little green. I think you’re amazing for being able to harvest leafy greens in the depths of your winter xx

  15. ChgoJohn says:

    Another great post on your experiments, Norma. The fact that you are able to harvest anything at all this time of year is amazing and I’d no idea that radicchio would last so long if properly stored. Can’t wait to see how those carrots do. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Thanks. I really should not have called it a harvest, just a few lettuce leaves. I did savor every bite though. I too am anxious to see how those carrots fare.

  16. I’m always amazed by your green thumb. I can’t even seem to keep my poor little orchid alive. Your cabbage and lettuce look so fantastic…and happy carrots are always a good thing =)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello SM,
      I am sure you will make a great gardener if you have time to devote to the activity. Good cooks make good gardeners. You are a great cook so you will make a great gardener.

  17. sky says:

    anyone can sign not just europeans – stop the chemicals,
    save the bees.. http://www.avaaz.org/en/hours_to_save_the_bees/?feSEicb&pv=16

  18. Eva Taylor says:

    Who would have thought that radicchio would last so long? Goes to show that proper storage is the key. How would you recommend storing fresh herbs or even baby arugula? Fortunately our arugula doesn’t last too long in the fridge because we go through it, but I’d love to keep herbs more than a few days. I rinse them lightly, shake them off and wrap them in a clean damp cloth, and then put them in a plastic bag without closing it off, so it can breath. Even so, they start turning brown and rotting in a few days.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      During the growing season I harvest herb as needed from my garden. During the winter months when I do need to buy herbs, I do the following: Sort through and discard any yellowed and blemished leaves. Spread on clean paper towel to air dry to the touch. Roll up in clean dry paper towel, place in plastic bag and refrigerate, will last 2 – 3 weeks depending on the freshness when purchased. Herbs may wilt, soak in cold water and will perk right up. I know many recommend washing before storing but I found it best not to. Let me know how this work for you.
      Came across this link: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_store_parsley_cilantro_and_other_fresh_herbs/

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