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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

And so the harvest begins . . .

This is such an exciting time of year. I've been picking little bits of vegetables, rhubarb and herbs all spring, but nothing like yesterday.  I kept finding more and more to harvest for our meals. Let's see if I can remember it all. Yesterday, I picked several stalks of rhubarb, a bunch of turnip greens, several beet greens, a few leaves of red leaf lettuce, lots of big green lettuce leaves, some baby spinach, a few nasturtium leaves, a bunch of radish greens, a bit of parsley as well as thyme, and a mass of chive blossoms. Both the beet and turnip greens were from thinning those patches, so I won't be getting more of either of those greens until the roots are ready to harvest. 

Here's how I used all of the above.

I made rhubarb-cream cheese gelatin salad (making a sweetened rhubarb sauce, then puréeing with 3 tablespoons of cream cheese, and stirring in softened plain gelatin),

sautéed turnip greens with onions, garlic, and smoked sausage as a side dish,

a gourmet salad blend with lettuce, beet greens, spinach, radish greens, nasturtium leaves, parsley, thyme, and chive blossoms (enough for all of us for our lunches, with leftovers for today),

and a pint of chive blossom vinegar.

In these early days of this season's garden, harvesting this much may only happen a couple of times per week. But it sure is exciting. 

I was thinking about the value of our garden. It's more than just saving money on our grocery budget. It's the quality and variety that we gain by keeping a garden. If I didn't have this garden, I don't think we would eat such variety. I likely would not buy a gourmet or premium salad mix. If I bought rhubarb, I would only do so once or twice per season. And I doubt I would buy so many high-nutrient cooking greens. In addition, our garden produce is consumed soon after harvest, meaning the nutrients, flavors and textures are still at their peak. Whenever I get a notion to quit gardening, I remind myself of these hidden values of my garden.


  1. I would say that is a lot from so little! I love the promise of spring and all that it brings. Especially, all the little goodies it has to offer which is only from God. Enjoy those goods.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Alice. God is good!

  2. Good food at your house in every sense of the word. We have harvested radishes and beet greens (also from thinning) and it was very satisfying.

    1. Those first tastes of a spring garden are so delicious, Live and Learn. Wishing you many more!

  3. That all sounds delicious! And you're right, so much fun to harvest and use produce. We've been harvesting sugar snaps, various lettuces, and spinach. Asparagus, too, but that's about done till fall. I pulled a beet yesterday to check the size and they're just about ready, as well as some of the first round of carrots (I planted 5 plantings in succession).

    1. Hi Cat,
      I didn't know that asparagus can come back in fall. Enjoy all of your garden produce!

  4. It looks like you are dining at a fine restaurant! Do you find that you crave the fresh greens at this time of year? Even though I frequently buy spinach, and occasionally, lettuce, during the winter months, it somehow isn't as refreshing as greens from the garden. My husband picked rhubarb a couple of days ago so I need to think about what to make from that. It's our second batch already this season--we are having a good harvest thus far.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Do you have favorite ays to use rhubarb? I'm always looking for new ideas.
      I agree,the quality of fresh-picked greens is so much better than something that's been on a grocer's shelf. It could also be the varieties that are grown for sale may hold up to transport but be lacking in other areas.

    2. So many good rhubarb recipes, so little time! I like pie and crisp, of course. I have a rhubarb tea bread recipe that I like. There is orange juice in the batter and it's such a springlike taste. I've told you before about rhubarb blueberry sauce. I have a dump and bake recipe with yellow cake mix, sugar, strawberry jello, butter and rhubarb that was a favorite of my mom's. Those are a few off the top of my head.


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