2011 garden harvest begins

The garlic’s out of the ground and curing on a screen in the woodshed and now the rest of the garden is starting to come ripe. The highlights thus far:

8252e-alderman

‘Alderman’ (AKA ‘Tall Telephone’) pea. I also planted another heirloom pole pea but I haven’t tasted those yet. ‘Alderman’ yields long, fat pods, almost always in pairs. There’s anywhere from four to ten peas in each pod, but the majority have about eight peas. They’re very vigorous, and, most importantly, they’re very tasty. These are some of the best peas I have ever picked!

b2a0f-beets

‘Touchstone Gold’ beet. Last year was the first time in my life I tasted a non-pickled beet. It was love at first bite. I don’t understand the folks that say they taste like dirt – I think they’re delightfully sweet. I also love the texture, though it’s hard to describe. The best I can do is to say that it’s like the texture of cooked carrots. These particular beets, whether because they are fresher than the beets I had been getting from the store, or whether from some variety-specific virtue, are a breeze to peel. Fresh beets are boiled or roasted and then plunged in cold water to loosen their skins. The ones from the store needed to have their skins scrubbed and scraped off no matter how long I cooked them, but these ‘Touchstone Gold’ beets have thicker skins that slip right off in one smooth motion. The roots are coral on the outside and dandelion yellow inside. I can’t get enough of these babies!

— Amanda

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