Cat’n Around Catskill 2014

As promised in my Harvest Monday, September 15 post, below are 6 of the 50 cats on view in the Village of Catskill, NY, May through September 20, 2014.

This is the 8th Cat’n Around Catskill exhibit, and what an exhibit it is. As you can see from the photos below, each artist had put a great deal of work into his/her cat. The details are amazing.

The cats are mounted on pedestals. Most of them are on Main Street, others are on Route 23B, West Main Street and Route 9W.

On Saturday, September 27 at 3 p.m. there will be an Auction & Gala at the Historic Catskill Point. The proceeds from the auction will benefit Participating Artists, Local Not-for-Profits, Barry Hopkins Art Scholarship Fund and Heart of Catskill Association for future Catskill promotion.

To view a gallery of all the 2014 cats go to

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cat'naround 2014

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Phantom of the Opurra

cat'n around catskill

cat'n around catskill

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Raining Cats & Dogs

cat'n around catskill

cat'n around catskill

cat'n around catskill

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cat'n around catskill

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Pharaoh Feline

cat'n around catskill

cat'n around catskill

cat'n around catskill

I hope you enjoyed viewing the above photos as much as I enjoyed posting them.

For more information go to and click on CAT’N AROUND CATSKILL at the top.

All the photos were taken by my daughter, Kathy.
Thank you Kathy!
Without your photos there would be no post.

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

Posted in Catskill, New York, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Harvest Monday. September 15, 2014 – Smooth-skin Luffa + Purple Sweet Potato + Windowbox Bok Choy + Okinawan Sweet Potato

Not much harvest this past week and not much garden chores got done as I had company and was out-of-town for a few days.

My daughter and son-in-law came for a short but very fun visit. Among the things we did were to check out the cats at Cat’n Around Catskill 2014 in the Village of Catskill, NY, and the Snoopy & Belle In Fashion at the New Museum, NYC. Will post about them at a later date.

Did harvest some leeks, orange & purple carrots and my first smooth skin luffa.

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Leeks, Orange Carrots, Purple Carrots & Smooth-skin Luffa

Gave the leeks and carrots to my daughter and son-in-law to take home with them.

The smooth-skin luffa is the first for the season and may be the last as it appears the cold weather has arrived and I doubt the baby luffas are going to grow much, I may remove the plant this week.

smooth-skin luffa cross section (06744)

Smooth-skin Luffa Cross Section

Should have harvested the luffa a few days earlier. See the space between the skin and flesh, this indicates the luffa has past its prime, still edible. Made a soup but was very disappointed. The luffa was bitter. Did not enjoy so tossed it out. Not sure why it was bitter.

For culinary purposes, immature smooth-skin luffa and angled luffa are interchangeable. I do prefer the angled luffa over the smooth-skin luffa but my angled luffa seeds failed to germinate so did not grow any this year. To learn about angled luffa and recipes click here.

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Angled Luffa

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Went to gather some sweet potato vines/leaves for dinner Thursday afternoon and noticed something poking out of the ground, upon close inspection realized it was a purple sweet potato. I was so excited, my first purple sweet potato! Did not have my trowel so rocked and tugged and got it out of the ground, saw another one, pulled that one also. Rushed back to the kitchen to weigh and take photos of my first purple sweet potatoes. Hope there are many more underground.

Oops, I forgot to gather the vines/leaves, did not feel like going out to the garden again so no sweet potato leaves for dinner that night.

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Purple Sweet Potato
The larger one weighed in at about ¾ pounds the smaller one about 6 ounces

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Early July I received a gift of 2 rooting Okinawan sweet potato slips from Angie of The Novice Gardener. Do check out Angie’s blog. You will enjoy perusing her posts and her story telling style. She is a blogger of many talents: fantastic photographer who creates mouth watering dishes that are like pieces of art. Many of the dishes are created using produce she grows.

Knowing I will not have sufficient growing days for tubers to form (Okinawan sweet potatoes need 130-140 days to form edible tubers) decided to grow them in 2 foam ice chests, when the night time temperature drops too low I will bring the ice chests into the garage and take them out during the days, hoping by doing so I will get some tubers.

Okinawan sweet potato (06547)

Okinawan Sweet Potato slips after 30 days

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Okinawan Sweet Potato slips after 80 days

It is mid-September, if we remain frost free until the end of October and the weather stays warm there is a good chance I will get tubers, fingers crossed.

Okinawan sweet potato flower (06755)

Okinawan Sweet Potato Flower

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Swiss chards in both the garden and window box are doing surprisingly well this year so decided to pull up the ones I planted on April 14 in the window box and transplanted some bok choy into the same box (after enriching the potting mix).

bok choy (06747Bok Choy in Window Box

There are definitely too many bok choy seedlings in the window box. I will be harvesting every other plant as they reach usable stage or as soon as there are signs of overcrowding giving the remaining plants room to grow and mature.

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

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Harvest Monday, September 8, 2014 – Chinese Long Beans + San Marzano Tomatoes + Ping Tung Egplants + Figs

Thank you dear readers for your get well wishes. My shoulder is much, much better, not 100% but getting there. If only I can remember not to overdo things.

We had about an inch of rain on Sunday, 8/31, followed by hot weather this past week, the crops, especially the heating loving ones, took off.

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Chinese Long Beans – Green & Red Noodles
 One Snow Peas & 2 Sugar Snap Peas

Heat loving Chinese long beans flourished, the above is only part of the week’s harvest.

Cut into about 1½ inch length, blanch and froze for winter use. To learn about Chinese long beans and recipes, click here.

Something is wrong with my snow peas and sugar snap peas plants. They are only about 18 inches tall but flowering and producing (quite small) peas pods.

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San Marzano Tomatoes
The above is one day’s harvest

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The above basket of tomatoes plus the rest of the week’s harvest were used to make a batch of tomato sauce using the Classic Tomato Sauce recipe from the Meatball Shop cookbook. Click here for the original recipe. I substituted my fresh San Marzano tomatoes for the boxed/canned tomatoes called for in the recipe. Cooled and froze for later use.

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Ping Tung eggplant (06731)

Ping Tung Eggplants

The eggplants were so fresh and tender decided to just cut into bite-sized pieces and make a simple braise with leek and garlic. Seasoned with S&P, light soy sauce, Shao Hsing wine, a little broth and white miso. Was delicious but not a pretty dish, so no photo.

To learn more about Ping Tung eggplant and a recipe, click here.

Ping Tung eggplant (06733)

 Eggplant (tall large leaf plant in center of photo) among annuals

The 2 lighter colored eggplants with the greener calyx in the previous photo were grown in the ground among my annuals. They (the fruits) were at the lower part of the plant  and shaded from the sun by the annuals. Wondered if that is why they have lighter color. The one at the bottom was grown in a container and exposed to full sun.

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Part of a day’s harvest, I needed a larger container. 
Did not expect so many ripe figs all at once from my one container grown tree.

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Greek Yogurt with Figs, Strawberries & Peaches
(Not a good photo, need to take some food styling lessons from my food stylist blogging friend, Eva of Kitchen Inspirations)

Tossed cut up figs, strawberries and peaches with Greek yogurt. Garnished with blackberry and chocolate mint. The fruits were so sweet no sweetener was needed. (Glad I tasted before adding honey.) The peach was from a friend everything else came from my garden. Wanted to add lemon zest but I don’t have a lemon tree and forgot to pick up lemons when I went shopping.

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

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions for more Harvest Mondays

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Harvest Monday, September 1, 2014 – First Napa, Leek, Chicory (Radicchio) & Asian Pear + Blue & Fingerling Potatoes

Was a bit under the weather this past week as a result not much got done in the garden or the kitchen.

Reinjured my right shoulder some weeks ago and every now and then it acts up. This past week it was “acting up” and I was forced to take it easy, am OK now just need to remember not to make certain motion with my right arm which is easier said than done.

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Napa & Leek

The 3 napas in the window box formed heads, click here and scroll down.

Early in the week I noticed one of the them started to bolt (you can see the flower stalk poking through the center in the above photo) so harvested it. Weighed about 1½ pounds. Like this size. Would they grow larger if planted in the ground? Will do an experiment next year to find out. Later in the week decided to harvest the other 2 as well before they bolt.

The napa seeds were a gift from Mac, High Desert Garden. Mac grows a vast variety of veggies and fruits and she post photos of the dishes she makes with her harvests. Check out her blog, you are going to drool scrolling through her dishes.

Pulled my first leek (notice the length of the white part in the above photo, a whopping 12 inches, I am so pleased). Bought the seedlings from a nursery so no idea what the variety is.

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Chicory (Radicchio), Asian Pears, Strawberries & Thornless Blackberries

Harvested my first chicory (radicchio). The packet of seeds I have contains a mixed variety of chicory so I never know what I am going to harvest. Need to get single variety seed packets.

Got my first Asian pear.

Since I cut down the other Asian pear tree I had worried that I would not get any Asian pears this year (most Asian pear needs 2 varieties for pollination). Fortunately the remaining trees is a self-fertile one so I am happy to have fruits. Not knowing how much self-thinning would occur, decided not to do any thinning, as a result the fruits are not large. Now that I know this is a self-fertile tree and there is little self-thinning, next year I will thin to have larger fruits.

The critters are still taking bites out of the largest strawberries and blackberries, did leave me some (the smaller ones) untouched, a few handfuls of each. Although they were not the largest they were sweet and flavorful.

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Potatoes – Fingerlings & Blue

The fingerlings on the left were grown in the ground, the fingerlings on the right were grown in foam ice chest. I got better yield from the ice chest and it was easier to hill the plants as well, will grow all potatoes in containers next year.

The blue potato was grown in an 18-inch diameter x 16-inch high container, harvested 3½ pounds from 2 plants. The one in the above photo is the largest and weighed 4½ ounces. I think if I planted the potatoes deeper in the container I would have higher yield. Next year I am going to plant the seed potato at the lower ¼ of the pot and hill the plants as they grow. I also think the container is large enough to accommodate 3 plants.

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Green Soy Beans (edamame) – Besweet 2001

I plant 3 different varieties of soy beans – Black, Tohya and Besweet 2001. Tohya is the first to reach edible stage, followed by black a few days later and besweet 2001 a week after black. The seeds of Besweet 2001 are larger than both the Tohya and Black. Because the 3 varieties matured at different times could not do a side-by-side taste test.

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Still harvesting figs (already have 1½ quarts in the freezer), Swiss chards, sweet potato vines, Ping Tung eggplant, red & green Chinese long beans, tomatoes and more tomatoes. Garden doing surprisingly well this year.

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

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions for more Harvest Mondays

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Harvest Monday, August 25, 2014 – Black Soy Beans, Rhizobia + Tri-color Amaranth

Pulled all but 2 of the black soy bean plants and collected all the young soy pods. The 2 remaining plants are for seed saving. Will collect the pods when they turn brown.

Actually I did not pull the entire plant, instead cut the stem of each plant at the soil level, leaving the roots in the ground to add nutrients to the soil. Learned this from Mary, Mary’s Veggie Garden. Click Here to link to the rhizobia post.

I did not inoculate my soy bean seeds at planting time with rhizobia (a general purpose bean and pea inoculant) as Mary did, but I observed many nodules on the roots of my soy bean plants, guess these are rhizobia.

rhizobia (06677)

Above photo shows the nodules on the roots of the soy bean plant I pulled. Many came off when I pulled the plant.

Will be cutting all my bean and pea plants at soil level from now on leaving the roots in the ground to add nutrients to the soil.

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Young Black Soy Beans (Edamame)

Harvest 3+ pounds. Parboiled for 5 minutes, cool in pot, shelled, placed in freezer bag, date and froze for later use (I did snack on some, well quite a bit, fresh & tasty).

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As you can see from the above 2 photos many of the pods are not quite filled out, needed another week, maybe more, of growing.

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Tri-color Amaranth
First harvest
Cut the main stem (8 – 10 inches), left the side shoots to continue to grow

Cut stems and leaves into bite-sized pieces. Sautéed in a bit of oil with minced garlic and shallots, salt & pepper to taste. Simple but tasty.

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Window Box Callaloo/Green Amaranth

After 2 weeks, the window box callaloo/green amaranths (click on link and scroll down) were ready to harvest again. Got 8+ ounces. Blanched and froze for winter use.

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Yellow, Orange & Purple Carrots

These are thinning from my direct sown (not from transplants) yellow, purple and orange carrots. They are small, the largest ones are thumb-size the others are finger-size.

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Made a quick chicken stir-fry. Click here for recipe. I substituted yellow orange & purple carrots, purple kohlrabi and scallion for the lotus root, broccoli and cauliflower.

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Chicken, Kohlrabi & Carrots Stir-fry
Served in steamed pita halves (sorry, forgot to take photo)

The yellow carrot is yellow inside as well and stays yellow after cooking. The purple carrot is orange inside, but cooked unpeeled the skin remains purple (see the slice in the center lower 1/3 of the photo). You guessed it, I will be cooking my purple carrots unpeeled.

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Red Noodles Long Beans

Decided to showcase the plant instead of the first harvest. Should have taken the photo before the harvest then you would see many more beans hanging on the vines, ah well, I do have 20/20 hindsight.

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Thornless Blackberries
Hope I get to those soon-to-be-ready berries before the critters

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Second Crop of Strawberries
That one was BIG. Hopefully I will get some wholesome uneaten ones

I am losing the battle with the critters.

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

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Fruits, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 41 Comments