Harvest Monday, September 16, 2013 – Pea Shoots Update + Asian Pears

On August 12 2013 I wrote about experimenting with growing pea shoots in window box and also transplanting the pea seedlings (started in cell packs) into the garden.

On September 2, 2013 I posted an update about the peas growing in the window box and of harvesting the tip of each plant.

To my delight, new shoots grew at the base of each plant.

Pea shoots in container (5697)

Pea shoots in window box
In the center of the photo you can see clearly 2 new shoots at the base of the original plant

New shoots were also growing at the base of the leaves on the vines where I had cut off the tender tips.

Pea shoots (5696)New shoots growing at the base of the leaves on the vines

I harvested all the new shoots from the base of the plants and from the base of the leaves

Pea shoots in container (5702)

Peas plants after harvesting all the tender shoots

Pea shoots in container (5698)

Left little stubs at the base
Observing to see if any and how many new shoots will appear
Pea shoots (5699)
Pea shoots from window box

The pea seedlings transplanted into the garden did not do well in the beginning, but I fed them some fish emulsion fertilizer and bingo, they grew. The tender shoots were longer than the ones in the window box and the leaves were larger. I believe the differences are due to the growing condition.

In the window box, there is restricted space for the roots to grow and also limited nutrients due to leaching and growing medium. I need to fertilize more frequently.

In the garden, the plants’ roots have more room to roam plus there are minerals and other nutrients in the garden soil to nourish the plants.

Pea shots (5706)

Tender pea shoots
Left: from window box. Right: from garden

Decided to harvest the tender shoots from only ¼ of the plants in the garden (had enough for a meal) leaving the remainder to continue to grow. Depending on weather, may get some snow peas (pushing my luck).

DSC05704weblarge copy

Tender pea shoots from the garden

Stir-fried pea shoots (5721)Used the ones from the window box in a salad (pea shoots, red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, orange wedges, olives, blue cheese and toasted pistachio nuts). Sorry, no photo.

Stir-fried the ones from the garden in a bit of oil, garlic, couple slices of fresh ginger, salt and pepper to taste (right photo).

Though interchangeable, for salad, I like the length of the pea shoots from the window box. For cooking, I prefer the ones from the garden.

In the future, will continue to grow pea shoots both in the window box and in the garden.

◊ ◊ ◊

Had a get together at a friends, brought a basket of Asian pears to share. They were juicy, crunchy and sweet.

Asian pears (5714)

Asian pears

Checking the pears on the tree daily and harvest the ones that are ready.

Asian pears (5683)Notice the color difference between the 2 pears in the photo at right.

I prefer to pick when they are the color of the pear on the right (all yellow and no green) as they are much sweeter. But if I wait until they all are that color, I will have a repeat of last year’s fiasco. Click here to see what happened.

◊ ◊ ◊

This week I will be spending time getting the garlic bed ready for planting, pulling up the tired plants and thinking about putting the garden to bed for the winter. Can’t believe that summer is coming to an end.

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

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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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66 Responses to Harvest Monday, September 16, 2013 – Pea Shoots Update + Asian Pears

  1. Lrong says:

    Envy your pears… they look so inviting…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lrong,
      They were so juicy, crunchy and sweet.

    • I’m with Lrong, wish I could go to your get-together. And I envy the stir fried pea shoots, too! So good and so easy to cook, right? Yet so expensive in restaurants! I really need to plant my own pea shoots. Actually I did, but the groundhog discovered them! :-(

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Angie,
        Tell me about the cost of pea shoots at restaurants. Went out to lunch and when the bill arrived, could not figure what we ate that was so expensive, checked the bill and you guessed it, it was the pea shoots. The groundhog lurking in my neighbor’s yard has not crossed the property line yet, hope he stays away.

  2. Karen says:

    Your window box experiments have been very interesting and rewarding for you. If the weather gets as cold as they are predicting, our growing season will be over tonight. :(

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      We are expecting a cold night but not as cold as your area. I decided to take a chance and left many of my tomatoes that just had a bit of color and other tender crop in the garden.

  3. I can’t believe summer is drawing to a close either. Very encouraging about the pea shoots. I do love to eat them – maybe I will give them a try…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Siobhan,
      You will need to devote more garden space to planting peas if you plan to harvest shoots. I will not get any peas from the plants I harvested the shoots so those plants are dedicated to growing shoots.

      • This is good to know – two pea beds for next spring, then! I saw at Kitazawa seeds that they had a variety of snow pea specifically for shoots (it’s called Usui) but I guess any edible pea would do?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Siobhan,
        Yes, any edible pea seeds will do. I read that snow peas seeds are better suited. I planted the matured and dried snow peas seeds that I had saved. Unfortunately I did not save enough seeds so will have to buy seeds.

  4. I miss those pears…don’t see them here..the peat shoot stirfry looks very tasty.

  5. Stoney Acres says:

    Looks like a fun experiment with the peas. I’ve never eaten pea shoots, i’ll have to give them a try. I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone! I think one more week of harvest from our summer garden and it will be done! Then it will be time to shift gears to the fall garden!!

  6. Daphne says:

    Those Asian pears look so delicious. I don’t have any in my garden. I keep wondering if I ought to plant one some day. Not that I have a lot of space but I do have some. I keep changing my mind what ought to go into the last spot.

  7. Patsy says:

    Your pea shoots and pears look wonderful! You inspired me to get a window box and I have some nice celery plants growing in one this year. I’m going to try some lettuce that way too.

  8. We never eat pea shoots, we always wait for the pods! But next year we might thing about it – stir fried pea shoots are one of my favourite dishes! :)

  9. Dave says:

    I love Asian pears. They are usually less gritty than the European ones. Yours look yummy!

  10. Kristy says:

    That is very neat to see the difference between the window box growth and the garden growth. Your salad looks so fresh and bright. :)

  11. Kim says:

    Oh that salad description made my mouth water, did you eat it up before you had a chance to take a picture? Tell me how you toast your pistachios please. And those pears are delicious I hope you get more of them this years and the deer get way less.

    Happy Gardening Norma

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      Yep, remember to take photo when the salad bowl was nearly empty, really sad. I buy the already roasted pistachio from the food market and shell them. I sometimes get the shelled one from Trader Joe’s. I don’t recall seeing raw pistachio for sale anywhere. I am determined to stay ahead of the critters this year.

  12. mac says:

    Those pears look so good, wonder it would grow here, how big does it get? I should be harvesting pea shoot also, but all other greens are going crazy with the rain we had, too many greens to deal with now, no time for pea shoots.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      Why would Asian pear not grow in your area? My tree is what was advertised as a very dwarf variety acquired many, many years ago, lost the tag so do not know the name.

  13. ChgoJohn says:

    Love your pea shoot experiments, Norma. Interesting how their flavor varies and I can see why you’d plan to plant both next year. I remember the pear fiasco, Norma, and I say pick them while you can! Looks like we’ll all be pulling plants soon. Summer just flew by, didn’t it?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I am learning so much from my experiments and am becoming more observant. Little things I never noticed before are getting me quite excited, it is a lot of fun, almost additive. Yep, picking my pears daily as each is ready is deterring the critters so far.

  14. Sounds like a good harvest Norma. Those Asian pears look sooooo good and so are those stir-fry pea shoots

  15. Sophie33 says:

    A lovely harvest, Norma! I love eating pea shots too, so fresh & young. our Asian pears, just like before do look so juicy, ripe & fabulous even! 😃😃😃

  16. I’ve never thought to eat pea shoots before Norma, I thought the only edibles on the plant were the pods and peas themselves! Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

  17. pea shoot is called timiau or tomeo in Indonesia, kinda pricey stuff….
    quite jealous with your fresh peashoot stir fry…

  18. cquek says:

    What a joy-filled week! love the pears!

  19. wok with ray says:

    I love Asian pears. They are one of the sweetest and juciest ones. :)

  20. I would love to try your pea shoots in a salad or stir fry — I’m not fussy! There is nothing like home grown produce. I am curious to try the ginger with the pea shoots in the stir fry.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barb,
      Pea shoots are available in the produce section at Asian markets in Toronto and can be ordered at restaurants. If it is not on the menu ask the waiter. Many non-Asian high-end restaurants also serves it.
      When stir-frying veggies, I frequently put a couple slices of fresh ginger in the oil together with my garlic to flavor the oil. (I do not smash or mince the ginger because my kids disliked it, with slices it can easily be removed.)

  21. hotlyspiced says:

    The nashi pears look very good and I prefer them golden rather than green, too. And those pea shoots seem to be growing so well and you have no end of uses for them. And so good for you too xx

  22. Juliana says:

    I love saute peas shoots and your Asian pears look awesome…so many!
    Thanks for sharing your harvest, and hope you are having a great week Norma :D

  23. Eva Taylor says:

    Hi Norma, fall really did sneak up on me this year; it seems that it’s sooner and colder than last, but then again, I’m not sure why it always surprises me! I’m repotting my fig tree and will bring it inside in the evenings, I think I’ll leave it out to enjoy the sun (our house has very little sun spots).
    I bought some gorgeous Canadian organic garlic and I took your advice and planted about 10 cloves at the cottage where that old birch was. I took a photo and marked it in my calendar so hopefully I won’t forget. I’m planting the other cloves in pots on top of the garage; I’m hoping it’s late enough in the season and that we won’t get too much rain to rot the cloves (perhaps that’s why they never sprouted last year). We went for a walk at the cottage with our friends from Illinois and Theresa was telling me about foraging for morels in the springtime — I’ve also made a note to take a walk and see if I could find some. I’ve also found a Canadian website that shows the poisonous variety so I’ll be extra careful!
    Enjoy the chill and the beautiful sunshine, it looks like it will be a cool but beautiful day.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Tell me about fall sneaking up. We are having October weather in mid-September.
      I would not plant all the remaining garlic cloves in pots on top of the garage, instead would plant some in the ground (doesn’t matter if it is shady) in the flower bed or among the perennials, wherever there is a bit of space, and transplant the plants to pots early spring. I personally would even leave a few garlic plants in the ground just to make comparison.
      You are brave, I would be scared stiff to forage for mushrooms. End of this month there is a mushroom walk at Locust Grove led my experts from Mid-Hudson mycological association, I did not sign up.

  24. I’ve always been a bit biased and believed Asian pairs were so much better than “normal” pears. I can’t believe summer is ending, either. Can’t wait to see what your garden will be yielding in the new season, though!

  25. My boys and I love pea shoots in huo guo (our hot pot). Yours looks so tender and delicious and that basket full of Asian pears are beautiful. Have a wonderful Mid-Autumn festival! Can you get moon cakes where you are living? Do you want me to send you some? If yes, just send me an e-mail and let me know what kind you like. Take Care, BAM

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      Happy Mid-Autumn festival. Thanks for the moon cake offer, you are so kind and thoughtful. Had moon cake at the gathering. My friends went to NYC and got some.
      The pea shoots were very tender and the pears were crunchy and juicy, delicious. Gardening season is coming to an end, I am going to miss my gardens.

  26. marycheshier says:

    Reblogged this on How 2 Be Green and commented:
    Great post. Thanks

  27. Dear Norma,

    Your pea shoots looks so fresh and all I can think of is a citrusy vinaigrette for a salad. Your simple stir-fried version looks delicious too with a Chinese meal. The nashi pears look sweet and crunchy too. I tried planting a lemon tree and a kaffir lime tree recently. The lemon tree was doing great with lots of small flower bulbs and fruit appearing but recently it started to wilt. I’ve fertilized it and watering it daily as it is now spring and was told they are big “eaters”. Hopefully I can save it!

  28. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Wow those critters really did cause some destruction in your garden last year. I can totally understand the urge to pick your pears a little earlier. Love reading about your garden Norma. That pea shoot salad sounds like a magnificent combination. Blue cheese, pistachios and orange wedges – big YUM!

  29. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had pea shoots, Norma…and those are true friends! =)

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