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Pathways to Harvest and Reuse

Pathways to Harvest and Reuse
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Turnip greens after a minor harvest. Mind the rogue Fennel in the walkway!

Midsummer update on the Lasagna beds. The beds are doing quite well. The volume of food coming from them is quite high. I decided I should document the Pathways to Harvest and Reuse.

I harvested turnip greens, kale, and Swiss chard today. In my years of gardening the concept that you can harvest the leaves of plants while they are still growing has been one of my greatest lessons, and the most timely. It actually helps the greens grow and remain healthy.

Use It All

I harvest all parts of the greens’ the leaf and the stems. I use the leafs and cook them fresh (after cooking them, of course) or I freeze them and use them later. The stems I process in a multitude of ways. For humans, for rabbits, for poultry, and for fish.

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello 2.2lbs (1kg) of harvested turnip greens to freeze or use fresh.
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Stems three ways, blended for pesto for humans, in tact for rabbits, chopped for ducks and chickens.
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Rabbits love almost all greens, but hate the roots (except for carrots!)

Surprised by Diversity of Options

This midsummer culling is full of surprises. The stems at this point in the season are tough. I trim the stems and set them aside. Then I chop up the leaves and prepare or store. The leaves can be used in a variety of ways. Spinach, turnips, chard, and beets each their own way.

Sometimes the leaves go right to the rabbits. But the stems get processed in a variety of ways. Raw stems go to the rabbits they love them all! Chopped stems go  to the poultry who tolerate them, but most stems are very high in niacin which is an essential nutrient for ducks.

Minced goes to the fish — they love the fresh vegetables. Finally the stems get blended and used in soups, stews or pestos. Of course anything that doesn’t get used goes into compost. Compost is always an option.

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